May 31, 2019

Long Term School Surprise

     This idea is new to me and I love it. My friend, Andrea Grossman, is doing it for her daughter and she showed me her project. (Please refer to the photos in this post.) Near the last day of the first year of your child's schooling, pre-k, kindergarten or first grade, ask his or her teacher to write a little something in the Dr. Seuss book, Oh, the Places You'll Go!, which you've purchased beforehand.  Then, at the end of each school year, present the same book to the next teacher your child has, asking for a comment/advice and their autograph. Be sure to have each instructor date their entry. Also,write the grade number and school's name so as to refresh memories when needed.  Surprise your student with the  completed book on graduation day of 12th grade!  What a wonderful gift for them and you.  
     The secret here is not to hide the book so well from year to year, that you can't find it.  That would be my luck and it would happen in the 12th year.  Should this occur, you could write your student a note saying something like, "My best intention was to give you a great book filled with teachers' signatures and advice written throughout your entire school career.  I have misplaced it, if you can imagine me doing such a thing.  I guess we'll come across it when we move, I have to clean the house or when you wheel me into that retirement home, I know you already have picked out.  Love, your Mother." 

May 26, 2019

Honoring Our Fallen Heroes

  I was standing behind a big Marine during  our annual Memorial Day ceremony at the waterfront in historic downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida. The scene before me spoke so loudly of the meaning of this most important event honoring our fallen heroes, I had to take this picture. Thank you to each man and woman who died to keep us safe.  May we all be forever grateful, respectful and reverent toward them. 

May 21, 2019

Once Upon a Bike plus Goodbye Lie Diaries- Pat

Present Day
Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, FL

     Jane Marie writes: You know how they say: if the walls could talk?  Well, what about this old bike?  I would bet it could tell a tale or two. Where did it travel? What was the farthest distance it traversed at one time or the entire time it was ridden? How many owners did it have? How did it come to be in the rusty, beat-up stage it was when our wonderful neighbor, Peggy, asked me if I wanted it? Did I?
     I don't know about you, but while I sprayed it with an entire can of blue paint to cover the rust, I wondered these things.  Peggy even  included two metal baskets and moss basket liners. Besides painting, all I had to do was add the flowers.  Next time, I think I will look for plants that drape and hang a little more, per Peggy's suggestion but, bottom line, I like it!  Thank you, Peggy!

P.S.  I am having to water it every day because of our harsh Florida heat. I just saw on YouTube that if you line the bottom of your moss basket with a disposable baby diaper which, of course, holds moisture, it will reduce the frequency of  times you need to water!  I happen to have several new diapers left over after making a baby shower faux cake, so I'm all set. 

Late 1880s
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Pat Dunnigan
Pat Dunnigan writes:  I don't want to sound rude, Miss Jane, but what is the matter with you? Why, with a wire brush and some elbow grease, you can clean up the rust and paint that bike a good solid black.  You might have to find the puncture in the tires but, whatever the problem is with the rubber, I can patch it.  Worst case, I would have to get new tires.  All I know is it is less than dignified, covering the handle bars and fender with all those flowers.  Flowers belong in the garden, in a flower bed or in a vase!  Ha! I'll be dipped in mud and covered with lemon peelings, if I don't sound like crabby Aunt Noreen!  Well, so what.  I still mean it!

Jack Patrick Dunnigan is a featured player throughout The Goodbye Lie series, but is all grown up in Amelia Island's Mark of a Man, where he shares his story with his younger sister, Marie. Often on the outs with family and folks for his unpredictable behavior, Pat's heart is kind if his actions often turn into trouble ...

May 14, 2019

Easter Flowers plus Miss Ella and the Goodbye Lie Diaries

Apparently, angels can sleep anywhere ... 
note the angel above on the old rusty fireplace grate
    The Easter lilies are in bloom again.  

     That is a direct ripoff of the calla lilies are in bloom again, Katharine Hepburn's famous line from the 1937 movie, Stage Door.  It may be several weeks past the blessed holiday of Easter, but any time a flower blooms, it is miraculous! And these wonderful lilies bloom annually, with no effort on my part. This is another miracle! - jmm 


The Goodbye Lie Diaries
Late 1880s
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Miss Ella Dunnigan
Miss Ella writes: Oh, how lovely, Jane Marie.  In my time, my lilies have already bloomed. Ours are planted by the front steps to Dunnigan Manor.  They are so welcoming during the Easter holiday activities. Every other year, I lift some of the ever-increasing bulbs and give them to neighbors and friends. What a delight it is to take a slow buggy ride around town to witness so many of them in bloom. 
     Your sleeping angel is very precious, indeed.  She tells a tale of silent and safe contentment as she rests beneath the heralding flowers symbolizing purity, hope and the renewing life of spring.  Her placement is perfect.


Miss Ella is matriarch in the Dunnigan family. Featured in each of the novels in Jane Marie Malcolm's  The Goodbye Lie series, she is the backbone of the clan, but don't tell her husband, Michael. 

May 8, 2019

Mom's 7 Minute Boiled White Icing

Mary Jo Malcolm
photo by granddaughter, Ava
     Did I ever mention I think Mother's Day should be celebrated on the birthdays of a mother's children as well as our national holiday?  After all we put our moms through in their lives, one day a year just doesn't seem enough time to honor them. Just a thought ...   
      My mother-in-law,  Mary Jo, has made what she calls 7 Minute Boiled White Icing and it is her son's favorite.  Because of that, I make it for  Bruce for his birthday every year.  Slathered over a chocolate cake, it forms a crust once spread. When you cut into it, the soft gooey vanilla flavored frosting awaits.  Somewhere in a past website or blog post, I have put up this recipe.  I thought I would again, in honor of Mother's Day. 
     Hope you can read old fashioned writing because it's in Mary Jo's own hand, which makes it all the more special. (Being able to read recipes and love letters written by sainted relatives is another reason to teach cursive in school!) 

Sorry, I cut off the left side of the back of the recipe card when I snapped this picture.  It says: Stir until icing is thick enough to spread  (or until it forms soft peaks). Add vanilla just before it is spread on the cake.  (Spread immediately on cooled cake. Oh, I always make a double batch!)

Happy Mother's Day!

May 7, 2019

We Have a Winner!

     Lookie here!  I won the monthly drawing for this huge and heavy basket of goodies from our local and completely wonderful Nassau Health Foods Organic Market and Mustard Seed Cafe!  It is located at 833 T.J. Courson Road, just in front of our island Walmart  in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida. 
     The following description is taken from their pamphlet/menu: Filled  with natural and organic groceries, dairy and frozen items, Nassau Health Foods has a large selection of national brand nutritional supplements and herbal remedies. 
     If you're in the area, stop by to say hi, browse the place or have a bite of breakfast or lunch in their cafe for conscious eating. Call them for details at 904 277-3158 or visit Nassau Health Foods website.
     And THANK YOU for my basket!  Can't wait to dig in! (If I'm not sure what any item is, I will give it to my daughter, Barbra.  She speaks health food.)

May 1, 2019


Please try to control your admiration as to 
the heights of glory which 
Jane Marie Malcolm has reached.
Presented to Jane Marie with admiration from Martha Bear, Teddy O, Airbourne, grasshopper advisor, Spew, the vomiting kitty, Art, the bearling who likes to draw on walls, and  all the critters who add humor and delight to Jane Marie's books, short stories and blog.  They want her to continue writing about them,  so gave her this 
one-of-a-kind Elbow Lickers' Award.

Recognized by somebody as one of literature's
best chapter-enders,
Jane Marie proudly wears crown and sash.

Jane Marie featured for four seconds on the
 Entertainment Tonight 
television show, dressed in period gown for
 Gone With The Wind 50th Anniversary costume ball in Atlanta, Georgia.

Jane Marie is a deserving member of the 3 Second Memory Club, featured in
 Amelia Island's Mark of a Man, set in 1898. This club is ever-growing to present day. 

Just another crowning ...