December 28, 2013

Smoking Bishop Recipe- a Goodbye Lie Fave + GBL Diaries

Excerpt from The Goodbye Lie:

     Leona was at the piano playing Auld Lang Syne. Aunt Noreen and Peeper passed steaming mugs of Smoking Bishop and the scent of the spiced wine filled the room. A toast was raised and cups clinked. 1883 had begun.

In Drinking with Dickens by Cedric Dickens, who was the great-grandson of Charles Dickens,  I discovered Smoking Bishop was Victorian hot spiced port wine.  Besides the Bishop, there were other clerical drinks in those times:  Archbishop-claret, Cardinal-champagne and Pope-burgundy.  
We served Smoking Bishop at a holiday party and got a chuckle out of seeing one of our guests tip the pot to get the last drop - and we’d made a double batch!  There are variations of Smoking Bishop, but this is the one we used. 
As with all alcoholic drinks, moderation is key. 

     Jane Marie


Smoking Bishop Recipe

You’ll need: 
  • 4 whole washed, unpeeled oranges
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks.
  • 1 bottle port wine (red wine and port wine combined should equal 4 to 5 quarts)
  • 5 to 6 quart slow cooker or large pot for stovetop cooking
Stick the whole cloves into the oranges.  Poke the oranges several times with a fork so the juice will seep out while cooking.  Place the oranges in the pot. 
Add  the red wine, sugar and cinnamon sticks.
Cover and cook on low or simmer for 3 1/2 hours.  Add the bottle of port. 
DO NOT BOIL at any time.  
Heat the mixture for another half hour to warm the port. 
Serve warm straight from the pot.
Garnish with extra orange slices or wedges and individual cinnamon sticks, if desired. 
Serves 10.  This recipe is easily doubled.


The Goodbye Lie Diaries:
Fernandina, Florida

Peeper writes:
Yes, Miss Jane,  I did pass cups a Smokin' Bishop around Dunnigan Manor with Noreena. I never want ta do a thing with her.  I only dun it 'acause  Santee Claus hadn't yet come and I wanted me a pair a new shoelaces, so I had ta be nice.  Miss Ella got me the shoes ta go with 'um, but I didn't ask.

 Reprinted from our website at

December 21, 2013

Wacky 2013 Christmas Letter from Us plus Past Letters!

Hello Everybody,

Here are some of the highlights of our 2013. I hope your year was as whirlwind as ours.

Mother asked her Brother: "What is the score?"  Her Brother answered, "10 to 10." Mother: "Who is winning?" Her Brother:  "It's 10 to 10." Mother, laughing: "Oh, since you're a Navy man, I’m glad it's Navy." Her Brother: "It's 10 to 10." Mother still loves her Brother even if he only says, "10 to 10."  She's glad to know his favorite number is 10.  He can be so secretive.

Father rewired the front porch light.  Whenever the family flips the switch, the hair dryer starts blowing cold.  Now, if Father can only figure out how to make it blow hot, Mother can melt the marshmallows on the macaroni and cheese.

Grampa Squirrelly gave Niece Beanie a candle for her birthday. Father worried she would forget it and burn her house down.  Grampa pointed out that her house is termite-ridden so Father gave her a book of matches. 

Daughter walked the beach and left a small pile of special seashells on the shore near the water.  When she returned the next day with a bucket to collect them, they were gone.  The police laughed at the robbery.  With such blatant disregard of citizen's property, she wonders what will be next? Stealing dandelions?

Cousin Gassie reports that his bowel sounds have improved.  The doctor no longer hums The Volga Boatman when he listens.  Now he sings  Zippidy Doo Da.  Gassie is so thrilled, he's looking for a Hollywood agent.

Aunt Rantie asked Mother, "How does a dog know it's not a cat and a cat know it's not a dog."  Not wanting to appear superior in her knowledge, Mother played dumb.

The neighborhood got new square lime green recycling cans.  Cousin Irk says it gives him more elbow room, what with the four extra corners, and refuses to move out.

The canned peaches are still on aisle 5 at the Hoggily-Woggily.

Father discovered that if you turn a book upside down, the words are upside down, too.  He loves to share his findings with the family in the hope they will grow as wise as he is.

The bread often has green edges.  Mother is pleased because the color matches her vinyl placemats.

The ice cream melted too fast and Father is preparing to take legal action.

Our mailman has crusty elbows.

After adopting a rescued doggie, Mother said to her Brother who was moving in for a very long unexpected visit, "Where is the dog?  I don't want her to run outside." Brother replied, "I know exactly where she is.  She's biting my right ankle." Mother said, "Oh good!  After you put on thicker socks, give her one of these biscuits so she'll keep doing it and we'll always know where to find her." 

Since he found a coupon, Cousin Chuckrack completed cooking school.  Being on a special diet to keep his tapeworm at regulation size, he's lost his interest in fancy cuisine and decided to be an electrician instead. He calls his business Snap, Crackle and Shock. 

Daughter has a new boyfriend.  He’s very nice but he chews worms. Everybody knows you're supposed to lick them. 

Great Uncle Thrice-Removed from Hack-knee Hollow went to the dollar store.  He is so rich, he took along three dollars, but since everything costs only one dollar, he couldn’t buy the purple spider snow globe he wanted.  

Mother's turkey was a bit dry.  Father put it in his closet to keep the humidity down so his shoes don't mold.

The wind blew when it was dark outside.

Merry Christmas!
Links to past Annual Christmas Letters:
To find even earlier Annual Christmas Letters from Our Family and to get a better understanding of our exotic lifestyle, visit: - Annual Christmas Letters are highlighted in RED.
PLUS, our Super Popular Post Santa Paintbrush Ornament


December 15, 2013

Sugar & Spice Nuts - a Goodbye Lie Fave

I make this recipe every Christmas.  They are also served at the Christmas Dance held in Fort Clinch in my historical novel, Amelia Island's Goodbye Lie, set in 1882. 
 Here is an excerpt from that book:
  As they headed straight for the delicacies, they passed near the tree. This caused the flames of the small white candles on the pine boughs to flicker. A young lad was stationed by the water bucket, patrolling for any wild sparks and called out, "Ladies, tend your skirts. Ladies, tend your skirts."

     Breelan recognized him as the son of the commander of the fort. "Thank you, Master Maveney." A nod was his acknowledgement, and he was quick to catch a penny someone tossed him for his trouble.
     The raised platform in the south corner of the room held the musicians from town. They were playing seasonal songs amongst some of the more popular tunes of the day. A beautifully printed sign decorated in red and green read Courtesy: Mrs. Luella Smitty and sat atop the handsome harpsichord. Violin, fife, double bell euphonium, clarinet, trumpet and snare drum made for quite the orchestra.
     The girls nibbled on triangular egg salad sandwiches, rolled ham, and sugared nuts while watching Mrs. Bleether. The stout widow was still dressed in black for General Bleether who had passed away in the line of duty before Breelan was born. Tonight, the widow nodded periodically to the conductor with instructions. A self-described expert tunesmith, she could always be found near the hapless leader of the band at any social function she attended.
     "Wasn't that last song The Jack-in-the-Pulpit Waltz?" Breelan asked.
     "I believe so." Nora checked her dance card hanging from her wrist. "It says the next is to be the Sweet Brier Polka followed by the Fort Clinch Cannon Brigade. Oh, look here, in parentheses it says Haymakers Reel."
     Breelan recognized the name. "I think we've played that one on the handbells. I'll know it when I hear it." And she did.
     She danced with Trip each time he asked despite his occasional cutting remarks. She didn't understand why he was becoming increasingly nasty as the evening advanced. Usually that happened as he drank more alcohol, but the refreshment committee was only serving spiced punch and mulled cider heated with a fire poker. When Trip crushed her to him in an indelicate moment of lust, she felt the hard flask under his tunic and understood.
Sugar and Spice Nuts Recipe
You'll need:
  • 12 ounces. whole pecans (almonds or unsalted walnuts will work, but pecans are best)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 1 teaspoon. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon. nutmeg
  • Grated rinds of 2 oranges 
Mix all the ingredients in a heavy skillet.  Simmer over medium-high heat, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes, until the water evaporates. 
Pour the nuts out onto two large cookie sheets sprayed with non-stick spray.  Separate them quickly with a fork, and let them cool.
The nuts can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.  They may be kept at room temperature for about two weeks.

December 7, 2013

Pearl Harbor Day

I found this history of events in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. God bless the fallen.  Thank you

December 5, 2013

Sound of Music Tribute

The Woolen Mill Tale
by Bruce Malcolm (my husband)
   Once upon a time, there was a firm tucked away on the moors of England that made woolen goods by warrant from her Majesty, the Queen.  This had been going on for several hundred years and the factory always turned out a fine, fine product in the good old-fashioned way - at a tidy profit.  The old mill was glorious to behold, as it was an appealing multi-leveled structure full of whirling flywheels and tall shafts.
   One day, the bookkeeper went to the owner of the mill and said, "We're losing money."
   "What are you talking about?" questioned the owner.
   "Well, I've checked the records again and again, and I promise you, we're losing money."
   "That's impossible!  Orders are up. We haven't changed our way of doing things in over 400 years, so why should we suddenly be losing money?"
   As reasonable people do, they looked further into the problem. They discovered the loss was due to theft by employees!   They did everything they could think of to stop this, including hiring guards, but still the thievery continued.  By this time, the owner was at his wit's end. 
   While sitting at his desk one afternoon, he picked up a copy of the München Zeitung, a German newspaper that happened to be lying on a pile of bills to be paid.  He saw an advertisement on the back for Guard Hounds of Munich.  The factory owner was intrigued. He read further and discovered  that if these guard dogs were employed in the factory, they were guaranteed to solve his security problem. Hoping for the best, the owner wrote to the hound company and in two weeks time, the dogs were delivered to the woolen mills by their trainer, a small man with long arms, a down-turned moustache, and green shoes.  The trainer turned the dogs lose in the factory and within days, the dogs put an end to the pilfering.  Anyone carrying woolen goods off the premises was cornered and bitten. Satisfied, the owner signed a release and the green-shod trainer returned to Munich, leaving his dogs behind. 
   But it seemed the dogs were not as tame as the mill owner supposed.  In fact, they were a bit wild and hard to handle once the trainer left.  Over time, the dogs took over the jumblie, pumblie English mill to breed in the nooks and crannies.  Soon, little puppies, growing bigger teeth every day, were everywhere. They were awful. They would rush out from beneath the benches and work tables to bite honest and unsuspecting workers on the ankles. 
   Things soon became intolerable.  Efficiency declined.  Profits fell.  It got to the point where the dogs had infested the mill so severely, the owner went bankrupt and had to close the business.
   One foggy sad day, not long after, the owner was putting a huge brass lock on the black wrought iron gate of his beloved mill.  Lowering his head, he walked through the mist on the moors and turned back to take one last look at the place.  As tears of regret poured down his face, he was inspired to write a song. You may have heard of it.  Or something similar, for the name of that song was The Mills Are Alive with the Hounds of Munich.  
Reprinted from our website:

December 2, 2013

Santa Hat Nail Art

I saw this on from Kaylee Denmark Nails.  While the tail on her Santa cap was a little longer and her red polish was glittery, I am pleased how well my hat turned out.  Here is how I did it and not break the bank.
You'll need the following supplies, all from the dollar store:
nail file
red nail polish
white nail polish
crystal jewel with adhesive back from kid's nail kit
clear top coat polish 
I am left handed so painted my ring fingernail on my right hand.  One nail was enough for me, but do as many as you want to, of course.
After letting your nails grow a bit, file the nail/nails into a pretty rounded shape.
Paint the tip of the nail red.  Let dry.
Paint the fur trim with the white polish, slightly wiggling the brush to make it look more realistic and fluffy. Let dry.
With the red polish, paint the cap's tail on one side, covering the white. Let dry.
Firmly press a small crystal on the end of the tail.
Paint two or three coats of clear polish over the entire nail, being sure to cover the crystal jewel. This coat will not only protect your Santa hat but will help keep the jewel in place.
Show everyone your Santa Hat nail with pride because it's fun, fancy and festive!
Merry Christmas!

December 1, 2013

Dog Sings Goodbye Lie Theme Song

After hours and hours of practice aka suffering on my part, our very own Abby, Chihuahua Extroverted, has completed her rendition of The Goodbye Lie theme song. (Amelia Island's Goodbye Lie trilogy is set in north Florida in the 1880s.) Thinking the harmonica might be the perfect period instrument to accompany this little ditty about the high seas sailor, Captain Waite Taylor, and the women who love him, Abby went through three tubes of bacon and squirrel flavored lip balm, so as not to chafe her kisser as she played.
Sit back and enjoy. 
You'll never hear anything like this!

November 28, 2013

A Song of Blessings

     In this special season of giving thanks for all we have, I want to share one of my favorite songs, Count Your Blessings, by Bing Crosby, from 1954's White Christmas

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24, 2013

Cleaning Test

It's that time again.  Company is coming for Thanksgiving so, you guessed it.  I'm cleaning the house, top to bottom.  My husband says, "Why bother?  They'll just mess it up the moment they walk in the door."  While he's right--They drop off purses, coats, extra shoes, dolls, coloring stuff, games, suitcases, dog food, dog leashes, beach chairs, coolers, etc.  Any surface I've cleaned is pretty much covered up.  Still, the idea that those surfaces are germ, grit and gravel free, to the best of my ability, is a point of pride for me.

So while I was running the sweeper, a flash from the past entered my mind.  I don't remember where or when I heard it, but here it is.  A less than kind mother-in-law was playing got-cha with her daughter-in-law.  Her ultimate test of a good housekeeper was to run a gloved hand on the underside of the toilet tank to check for dust, dirt--whatever might collect there and be less than desirable.  As I think back, I can honestly confess, I don't recall ever actually cleaning the underside of the toilet tank.  Around the tank, beside the tank, yes.  But under?  Nope.  Go ahead, call me a slob. I guess that means I'm not as great a housekeeper as I should be. Guess I never will be...

By the way, this mother-in-law, could be named Aunt Noreen, the mean-spirited yet still beloved character in my historical series, The Goodbye Lie.  Her evil characteristics are timeless.  Once a meanie, most often forever a meanie, huh?  

November 21, 2013

Military Working Dogs

During a visit to our local American Legion Post 54 in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida, we discovered a very handsome and equally fascinating vet.  There on the floor, with people stepping over him, unflustered, enjoying his low level view, was a military working dog. A  Belgium Malinois (pronounced mal-in-wah),  Bartje (pronounced Bar-shay) retired in October of 2013 after serving in  Afghanistan and Mayport, Florida. His handler, Master-at-Arms (MA) 1st Class Eliot Fiaschi, is responsible for military working dog teams in the South East, US. He has adopted Bartje and it's plain to see their mutual devotion.

Before I reached to pet Bartje, I asked Fiaschi, "Does he bite?"

He replied casually, "Only when I tell him to."

Well, Bartje got lots of attention and lots of petting that day, dressed as he was in his official vest, complete with his name and ribbons.

Until this time, I'd heard of and seen military dogs on the news, but never realized how vital they are to our national security.  They are determined to please their masters, following commands to the point of self sacrifice. 

To read more about Navy man Fiaschi, visit

Most importantly, please take a few minutes to check out K9 Pride.  This site lists three non-profit organizations supporting our military dogs, including Kevlar for K9s, and explains what equipment these wonderful animals need to stay safe and comfortable in harsh conditions like Afghanistan.

Master-at-Arms (MA) 1st Class Eliot Fiaschi is featured in
 K9 Heroes by Nicole Arbelo
I also want to mention that Bartje's visit to the American Legion Post was due to Karen Kelley with BARC, Boxer Aid & Rescue Coalition.  Visit her non-profit boxer rescue site at  

November 16, 2013

Tussie Mussie- a Goodbye Lie favorite

a Goodbye Lie favorite
Crafts: Tussie Mussies

read "The Goodbye Lie"
Tussie Mussies
    see our Tussie Mussie shirts
and more goodies at
our T shirt shop
A tussie mussie, also known as a nosegay (doesn’t that conjure a delightful image of sweet-smells?) is a small bouquet of fresh, artificial, or dried flowers.  Sometimes it has a lace, paper or greenery collar, tied with a bow.  The flower stems can be inserted into a silver filigree or ceramic holder for carrying or wrapped with stretchy florist tape and covered with ribbon.
If a suitor is particular in his choice of flowers, the tussie mussie can convey special meaning when presented because each flower may represent distinct emotions.  Usually handheld, a tussie mussie is sometimes pinned to the bodice of a gown.  According to the language of flowers, if centered at the bosom, it suggests friendship toward the giver.  Should it be pinned over the heart, it stands for undying affection.  And the Flowers Spoke has a detailed explanation of the language of flowers.
This is  the first novel in Amelia Island's Goodbye Lie Trilogy set in the 1880s
 and available where books are sold.
Excerpt from The Goodbye Lie: 
Eager eyes were fixed on the entrance to see who arrived with whom and in what fashionable garb. As Trip removed her black velvet cape with burgundy satin lining, Breelan's friends found her. Tonight, she wore the prettiest dress she'd ever possessed. Her mother and grandmother had created an entire gown of horizontally sewn rows of ivory lace. The drop shoulders were edged with four-inch white fringe, which allowed her upper arms to peek out. Pink and gold silk rosebuds intertwined in a vine of ivy leaves to diagonally cross the bodice. More rosebuds sat atop pale bows scattered over the drape covering an underskirt of ecru satin. An oval coral brooch outlined with tiny seed pearls and pinned to her mother's string of pearls, was positioned at the base of her throat, her earbobs matching. White gloves only long enough to cover her forearms, an amethyst ring on her right hand overtop the glove, and a tussie mussie of small pink poinsettias in a lace cone completed the picture of loveliness that she was. The women touched her gown, admiring its grandeur and the beauty of the woman who wore it.
To make your own Tussie Mussie, you’ll need:
Silk (artificial) or fresh or dried flowers - enough so that when gathered together, they will form a 3 inch to 6 inch diameter bouquet
  • 6 inch paper doily
  • a roll of green florist tape
  • 1/2 inch satin or organdy ribbon in a coordinating color
  • scented floral air freshener (optional)
Cut an X shape approximately 1 inch wide in the center of your 6 inch doily.  You will insert your floral stems through this. 
Cut the stems of your flowers approximately 4 to 5 inches long. 
Gather them into bouquet, artfully arranging them in your hand for balance and color.
Wrap the stems lightly with florist tape. 
Slide the flower stems into your doily so the doily touches the bases of the flowers.
Wrap the stems with ribbon, covering the florist tape.
Tightly tie a ribbon into a bow just beneath the doily to secure your bouquet.
If desired, spray artificial or dried flowers with the floral air freshener.  Fresh flowers, such as roses, need no spray.  Mother Nature has done her part already.
Present the tussie mussie to someone special or tie it to a package as a favor or use it as a lovely “sit about” for any room in the house.  If you’ve made your tussie mussie from fresh flowers, let it dry naturally and it will keep indefinitely.  Remember to handle dried flowers with care.
PS I made s slew of tussie mussies as favors for my daughter's wedding reception and the female guests seemed to love them.  I used roses from my garden picked all spring and summer and gathered bunches with rubber bands, hanging them on a wooden clothes drying rack to dry.
This Tussie Mussie article is copied from my website,, so readers realize this blog is only part of our Goodbye Lie world on Amelia Island, Florida. 
Hugs and Blisses! 

November 11, 2013

Remember our Veterans!

We've had a weekend to remember our wonderful veterans with today being the official holiday.  Fernandina, here on Amelia Island in Florida, held our annual parade on Saturday morning.  I heard there were more than 90 groups participating. For a small town, that's a ton!  Below are a few pictures I snapped after the fact.  I forgot to take along my camera when I rode in the American Legion Auxiliary wagon.  That means I didn't get a picture of Bruce riding on the back of a three wheel motorcycle.   Bummer.  He was up front with the American Legion group and I was way back, number 67 or so, so I didn't even see him!  No matter.  The parade was to remind us all of our military men and women.  So fly your flags to honor them and our country which they protect. Thanks to them, we are free enjoy such patriotic holidays.  If you see someone who is in uniform or ever was, acknowledge their service.  Let them know we appreciate them.

lady pirate
Civil War reenactors


pirate ship on wheels
Lady Liberty on the right

November 5, 2013

True Love

So you see the title of this posting and wonder to yourself: Oh this has to be about Jane Marie and her  husband, Bruce.  Maybe how they met...Or perhaps how they've survived their long years of marriage together.

Or maybe Jane Marie will link to YouTube and the song True Love sung to Grace Kelly by Bing Crosby in High Society from 1956.

No, the true love of which I write is between my dog, Abby, and me.  In every love story, there is a lover and a beloved.  Abby is the lover and I, the beloved.  How do I determine who has which role? I know this because Abby not only finds my shoes and carries them with her around the house, but she licks the inside of them to the point of sopping. While disgusting, this practice of hers demonstrates her depth of devotion to me.  I adore the old Abster, but I draw the line when it comes to me slobbering over her paws.  Therefore, she wins.  She loves me more.

Abby enjoying my old shoe

November 3, 2013

Hollywood Hearts- Love with All the Trimmings

If you love musicals and if you've never seen On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, starring Barbra Streisand, do find a copy and watch it.  A romantic comedy with ESP and reincarnation, Streisand's 1970s character returns to 19th century England. It's colorful movie with memorable songs, but the most memorable for me are during her flashbacks.

I have loved Love with All the Trimmings from the first moment I heard it. And the detail of the period scene in which it is set is spectacular. Click here to listen to the lyrics as they tell her story and delight in the romance of it with the added perfection of her costume and acting. 

One other romantic song from the movie is He Isn't You.  Again, if you listen to the words, they color a picture of longing and the romance meter is off the charts.  Watch here:

As always, thank you to


PS  You can watch the entire movie by movie clips on YouTube, but it's broken up into eight segments.  Hey, but where there's a will, as they say...

November 1, 2013

October 29, 2013

Goodbye Lie Diaries - Jane Marie & Peeper

Fernandina on Amelia Island
Present Day

Jane Marie writes:  I recently heard a name and was reminded of a childhood neighbor. Let's call him Jakie.  He was a year younger than I and would cock his head to the right and squint when he was in the sun.  While that was all understandable, the thing I remember most about him was that he ate worms. I'm serious.  I think he did it to amuse little girls.  I was one of them. I have been accused by a sibling of enjoying a nibble or two of worm myself.  Said sibling was, is and forever will be WRONG.  Jakie ate them, not me!  You'd think I would remember such a revolting thing, wouldn't you?

As the years advanced, our daughter, Barbra, told us her first grade boyfriend, Randy Snort, liked to lick rocks.  If this is a generational thing, and we continue to be fascinated by such oddities, I wonder if granddaughter Ava's first boyfriend will chew his own toenails. It could happen.

Fernandina on Amelia Island

Grandmother Peeper writes: That ain't nothin'.  I once knowed a fella we called Lucky Lucas who shined his boots with his own ear wax.  That's disgustin' but his shoes always looked most handsome.                                                                                 
                                                                      Grandmother Peeper

Through the magic of modern electronics, The Goodbye Lie Diaries feature comments on every day happenings between author Jane Marie Malcolm and the characters from her historical novels.  
                                                                                                                                   Grandmother Peeper

October 28, 2013

Joke for Kids

What kind of doggie does a vampire have?

Answer: a bloodhound, of course!

October 19, 2013

Boots on the Ground

The second annual Boots on the  Ground event was held today here in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida. As a tribute to our fallen military men and women, over 1,800 boots lined both sides of Atlantic Avenue from the beach running a good mile and a half west to 8th Street.  Volunteers began setting the boots out at 4 am this morning, evenly spacing them with military precision. I heard from one of the veterans how a storefront owner offered an empty showroom where all the incoming boots were stored and staging began. Many of the boots came in without shoelaces, some brand new, some mildly used.  So besides lacing, each had a red solo cup inside to catch any rain and to support the individual flag that floated above it. Attached to each boot was a badge bearing the photograph of a military hero, his name, hometown and battle where he or she had fallen. Sadly, mothers had to make  7,000 badges and all those extras were displayed hanging from ropes behind the boots.  Many families sought out their particular hero and discovered the boots and badges were set out/organized by year, beginning with September 11, 2001. 
boots as far as the eye can see
note a few motorcycle riders on the upper left of the photo
boots and badges on both sides of the street

I learned the first year was just the motorcycle run.  This year, there was a 5K/10K run/walk and kids' fun run, a silent auction, patriotically decorated motorcycle parade, geocaching, weapons display, postcards for families of the fallen and sale of American Legion brick pavers, Bruce and I did this,  plus more. They expect next year's Boots on the Ground event to be even bigger.

It was a solemn occasion yet one filled with pride as we talked and listened to the families tell about the sons and daughters.  As one mother explained to me, "When somebody thanks me for my son's service, it means the world to me, that he's not forgotten. As they thank me, I thank them right back."

For more information, please follow this link:

October 17, 2013

Sweetest Day Cometh

Sweetest Day is fast approaching.  This year it is on Saturday,  October 19th, always the third Saturday in the tenth month.
Celebrate Sweetest Day
The Roaring 20s were not all rolled stockings, bobbed hair, rouged knees and Charleston kicks. There was also kindness.  Herbert Birch Kingston, a candy salesman from Cleveland, Ohio, took time to share his wares with orphans, shut-ins and unfortunate souls, thereby, beginning Sweetest Day.

At first, it was celebrated primarily in the northern states, along the Great Lakes, due, in part, to the participation of Theda Bara, a silent film actress of that era.   It is said she passed out candy to those attending her movies.  Today, the custom of Sweetest Day is spreading as people move and take the tradition with them.  If your friend, relative or lover has never heard of this delightful holiday, enlighten them.  Give a candy bar, homemade cookies or other goody, though the remembrance doesn't have to be high in calories.  (Although who can resist chocolate.)  Here are some alternatives:
  • Give lipstick flavored kisses to your love.
  • Watch a romantic comedy.
  • Make a list of your sweetie's favorite sweeties, including foods, drinks, candy, movies, books, CDs, activities.  Take a weekend and try to eat/do/participate in as many as you can.
  • Play cards or a game.  The winner gets a cupcake!   Play poker with M&M's®.
  • Give a romance novel from one friend to another, married or single.   She will love it.  He may hide away and read it with a flashlight, but he just might learn a thing or two about romance!
  • Give a new nightie or boxer shorts, potted plant or flowers, 8"x10" glossy, whatever conveys the appropriate affection.
  • Give a gift certificate for a manicure, pedicure, spa treatment or makeover.
  • Give a gift certificate for his, her, their favorite hobby supplies.
  • Go to the movies or theater, preferably choosing light-hearted entertainment, nothing heavy.   Remember, the purpose of Sweetest Day is to lift the spirits by showing love and caring.   No depression allowed!
  • Go on a picnic or prepare a meal together.
  • Get a new bell or handlebar streamers for your bikes, and ride through the neighborhood showing them off and wishing everyone a Happy Sweetest Day!
  • For fun, eat your meal or special dessert in the living room on the floor or a card table or in the bedroom.
  • Put clean sheets on the bed and spritz with scented linen spray or perfume.
  • Hand write a love letter or note of friendship.
  • Make a homemade card and snail mail it in time for the holiday or deliver it in person, if possible.
  • Give a Secret Pebble™.   Because they are hand painted, no two are ever alike.   The secret in the pebble is whatever you share with the recipient.
  • Offer to watch the kids so parents can spend some alone time.
  • Help the children draw their hand prints.   Cut them out.  Staple a hand on each end of a 3 foot by 8 inch length of paper.   Have the kids write, "Here's a hug for you!" and draw on the paper hands.  They can give these to someone special.
  • Gather special photos, home movies, and/or favorite songs and spend happy hours remembering - with a special dessert during intermission - wonderful memories.  Perfect for couples and families.
Whatever you decide to do for those who mean so much to you, let it begin a tradition. Telling someone you love him or her is not just for Valentine's Day or even Sweetest Day.   Tell them every day, every chance you get!

(Reprinted from our website,, at