Take Me to Africa

October 6th, 2015

I’ve been missing because I somehow got caught up in all things Africa. Specifically, Beryl Markham’s Africa. It all began when I read a blurb about Paula McClain’s newest book focusing on the British-born Kenyan-raised Aviatrix who lived a crazy life in the bush and grew up to do even more adventurous and romantic accomplishments.

beryl m

Years ago, I read The Paris Wife and fell in love with Paula McClain’s writing. Her historical fiction voice lures the reader in and that was all it took to hook me.

If you’re not familiar with Beryl Markham and are interested in who she was- I highly recommend her book West With the Night. It is full of wild adventure and excitement. I read it before I stuck my nose in Paula McClain’s Circling the Sun and I’m glad. It was so good I couldn’t put it down.

The movie Out of Africa was written by Karen Blixen whose pen name was Isak Dinesen. She was a Danish noblewoman who fell hard for the dashing big game hunter Denys Finch-Hatton. Karen’s husband was the Baron Bror von Blixen who constantly cheated on her and eventually left her on the coffee farm in Kenya. She made do with a love affair with Denys who was known himself for being a playboy. Beryl Markham was part of that rugged crowd and all of their stories are completely intertwined. In the movie (if you’ve watched), Beryl’s character is known as Felicity. It’s been said that when Karen/Isak wrote the book she didn’t include much about Beryl because of her jealousy of the love affair between her and Denys.

denys karen

It seems all the ladies loved Denys Finch-Hatton.


All I can say is that the sordid and strange old ways of these different aristocratic people will suck you in and spit you out long after the dinner dishes need washing. I am still stuck in Africa thanks to all of these characters.

Oh well, the reality is that I’m back. But I cannot stop thinking about all the adventure. Oh and Paula’s book? Is everything I’d hoped and more. I hope they make a movie.

Hands Off

October 2nd, 2015

Here we are once again……listening to nonsensical garbage from gun hating liberals.


Every single time a whack job (and people who commit horrible acts like yesterday’s campus shooting are whack jobs) goes on a killing rampage, out come the genius gun control cronies. Blah blah blah. …… waaa waaa waaa! Crap!

All of it, crap!

Seriously. Stop it.

How unfortunate that someone in the midst of all the horrible bloodshed going down at yesterday’s attack wasn’t legally packing. It’s heartbreaking that he wasn’t stopped sooner. His intentions were to cause as much death and destruction as he possibly could and it appears he was rather successful.


I get it. Not everyone feels comfortable with guns. To them I say, don’t buy one. But, don’t tread on my right to have them and to use them for my protection.

Gun laws don’t protect legal gun owners. Just like taking cars away from everyone because some people drive drunk doesn’t stop drunk driving crimes. Criminals will always find a way to do their deed.


I’m sickened by the horrid acts committed on the Oregon college campus yesterday. It’s past time for Americans to stand up and fight back. I thank God for the many businesses who openly welcome licensed gun carriers in their business. Our world is quickly going to hell – and it’s important to know there are those who want to take as many along with them as they can.

Exercise your American right and become a trained and legally licensed gun owner. You never know when tragedy will knock on your door or walk into your classroom or drive by your front yard.

Don’t be a victim!

Help us help ourselves.

It’s the Best Time of the Year

September 30th, 2015


Really, who needs Christmas when fall is so glorious?


It’s gorgeous!

Today is the first really breezy cool day that promises to usher in more true Indiana fall weather.

Hello jeans, boots and sweaters!


I know it might shock you….

But I was meant to live on a farm.




This.  This is my kryptonite!

I’m powerless under the spell of an Indiana farm in the fall.


What’s your weakness?

Goodbye September…..

AUNT that something?

September 22nd, 2015


I’ve just returned from a great adventure. It was wonderful! I spent the whole week down in Georgia with my TWO FAVORITE AUNTS (and their hub’s – my uncles). Just us big people. Doing big people things.

It had been a long time coming. Many years, thousands of miles and busy family priorities kept us far far apart for way too long. No worries, we picked right up where we left off.

We did a lot of this –>

a pats rest

And way too much of that –>

a pat eat

This table stayed full of great meals. Cooking up love is a family trait.

We hit tons of great shopping spots. I especially liked the Mercier Apple Orchard in Blue Ridge Georgia. Worth standing in the line for a fried pie. Yum.

a pat apple

There were a “few” other fun stops.

a pat store

a pat wood

I came home with a cute new shirt, lots of jellies, some fudge and some delicious soup mixes….oh and a couple cheesecake mixes too. Darn diet! I loved hanging with my family. I would’ve been happy staying home doing nothing. Running the roads together was good fun too!

a pats back

I admit, their home inspired me to dream a lot of my own retirement days. They built this great house in the mountains (Blairsville) on a beautiful piece of land that they picked out a few years before they were ready to retire. I know why everyone wants to go visit them (aside from their fantastic hospitality) the whole place is perfect. Great views, terrific town and access to many more wonderful places. I loved the gorgeous Georgia weather.

I loved it all. But, I’m not going to lie….seeing two of the most important women ever to be a part of my life was the cherry on top of the whole trip. I feel blessed to call them MY AUNTS.

Thank you Aunt Pat & Uncle Earl for the great stay and visit in your special home. We enjoyed the whole week even the detective work we did online. Thank you.

Thank you Aunt Gail for all the talks, laughs and catching up. We didn’t run out of subjects and I can’t wait til we all meet up again! A cruise? A trip? A camp-out back in Georgia? I’ll be there!


99 Problems

September 21st, 2015

So, I read a super inspiring blog post over on another blog about how this lady and her husband lost 26 pounds by eating WHOLE 30.

Then, I made chocolate gravy and biscuits. And ate them!

I’ve really got 99 problems and eating junk food ain’t one of them. Or wait, is it? Because, I like bad food. I like white bread. I especially love it when it’s really soft and fresh.


So, shoot me. Or, call me fatty. I’m human and I was raised in the south where food was fried, piled and delicious. The problem now is that I’m “older” and everything, even stuff I just walk by goes straight to all my problem areas. Ahem, tummy!

Why can’t my body just be like it used to be? Skip a meal, drink water and pounds melt off. Those were the days!

I really think this Whole 30 thing could work for me. The trouble is that I feed other people and not everyone in my circle will eat the foods that I will. For every chubby woman on this earth who wants to lose a few, I feel ya. Girlfriends, we have a challenge don’t we?

New personal goal: Eat Whole foods, ditch the dairy & bread and exercise more (did I mention I’ve been to yoga? 3 times?).

yoga mama

Baby steps…

Four Blondies Walk Into a Sunroom

September 11th, 2015

blondies in sunroom

Look at us. All cozied up together on the little ugly couch in my sunroom. Sheer bliss. That’s the best description of how I feel when I’m surrounded by my beautiful girls.

I used to think I only wanted sons.

Whatever! One really awesome son fills my heart and for that I’m grateful.

I love being a mom of daughters. They remind me so much of myself. Not only do they look very similar to me but they hold many of my same personality qualities. I like that….hopefully the rest of the world does too.

Sitting around the table talking with my girls empowers me to talk openly with them about real life stuff. They aren’t little cuties anymore. They’re both grown young women with smart minds and lofty goals for their future. As I look into their sparkling eyes and marvel at their big beautiful smiling teeth…..I get a lump in my throat at their beauty and their poise. Each of them embody a loveliness that leaves me breathless.

I want them to have everything they deserve and more. But, what I really want is to equip them with the greatest parts of me and what I’ve learned throughout my own life. I pray that they know…

girls love

Nothing they ever do can make me stop loving them. They are human, just like me. Loving them has nothing to do with their success or performance or appearance. I love them simply because of WHO THEY ARE to me. My daughters.

girlss 1

No one agrees on everything all the time. Even in families. Still, I can value the opinion or thinking of my girls. I can celebrate them and their differences and I can learn from their knowledge. They deserve it.

girls know

This one is easy because I’ve lived my own flawed life right in front of their faces. They’ve seen firsthand, NO ONE IS PERFECT. I want them to know that they don’t have any unrealistic goals to live up to. If they goof up, they haven’t blown it forever.

girl hearts

In a world where the most often used advice is “Follow your heart” I want my girls to know that FOLLOWING JESUS is way more important than whatever “heart” emotion they may feel. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”. Don’t trust your heart….trust Jesus.

girls lovey

No matter who – it’ll cost you. It might be your time, your independence, your family, your town, your career, your dreams. Love is costly. What you have to decide is …. is it worth it? Any love worth having will be worth the sacrifice.


Success isn’t everything. It’s important but not everything. Your value doesn’t come from your success. God already made you valuable. All the success in the world will never make you a great human. When you fail, accept it and learn from it. Failure will make you stronger, smarter and better in every way.

be a lady

It only takes a second to ruin a reputation. The words we use, the clothes we wear and the way we behave and treat others all reflect WHO WE ARE as people. I want my girls to be the kind of young women that represent ladies in the highest form.

girls and mother

Sorry girls. All the things you’ve rolled your eyes at…you will do it to your own precious cargo. It’s just the way it is. So, trust me when I say what sounds crazy or stupid now will someday come out of your own mouth. It’s wisdom. You’re welcome.

And lastly…


Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for giving me my two girls. They really are the best parts of me. Because of them, I want to be a better me.