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After all the gardening yesterday, today the MS has decided to flare up which means I’m nauseous, dizzy, and I don’t have any energy,  Not a good day but I’ve said it before, the only predictable thing about MS is it is unpredictable so…you learn to take it a day at a time and try not to stress over it too much.

Since I’m pretty much out for the count this morning, I decided to take this opportunity to do some updates to the book my sister and I are writing together, Whistling Woman, about our great aunt’s life growing up in Hot Springs.  I got the Word files updated and even went through the phsyical file which has some of the articles, contact people, and notes we’ve been keeping.  While I was doing that, I ran across copies of some articles Aunt Bessie wrote for some of the local newspapers in North Carolina.  Our dad had given them to us the last time we were in Florida and when I got home I tucked them in the file and then forgot about them.  Sheesh!

Anyway, in one of them, Aunt Bessie writes about an experience she had while teaching in a one-room school-house and it made me smile, so I thought I’d include it in today’s blog entry (number four of five in this week’s Writing Challenge):

Pathos:  Touches the heart.

It was a cold winter day, and the scholars in a little log school house, deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, were taking time about warming at the big rock-chimney fire, when one of the boys, sitting on an upturned stick of wood—seemingly taking more time than his share—was reprimanded by the teacher.

“No, Miss Bessie,” the child said, “I ain’t a warmin’, I’m a studyin’ my lesson by this good light.”

When I, the teacher looked, I saw a pale shaft of winter sun lying across the boy’s book…the sun light came through a crack between two logs.

My heart refused to let my brain think that Jimmy for a selfish reason had removed the chinking from between the logs.

Aunt Bessie taught for many years in a number of one-room schoolhouses and this is just one of the many wonderful stories she told.  I love reading her words and knowing her thoughts.  Somehow, even though she’s been dead for a long time, it brings me closer to her.

I’ve been working in the garden and during my breaks from that, updating the chapter outline for the book my sister and I are working on together, doing more research on milk fever in the late 19th century, and I also managed to fit in a few minutes of actual writing time.  So, I’ve been busy and yes, I almost forgot about my Writing Challenge.  This week’s challenge was to post at least five blog entries and since I’m going to be tied up this weekend, I really need to get them done before Saturday.

Problem is, I don’t have anything specific to write about today.  Usually I can find some article on AOL or Yahoo but today…not a one struck my fancy.

I could, I suppose, write something about the Red Sox but after the weekend they had and the fact that they are, for the time being, winning again, I definitely don’t want to jinx them so…I’ll just say, I’m glad they’re back at Fenway!

Other than that, nothing else comes to mind.  I’m still working on the list of 52 writing challenges but I don’t want to post that until I get a little further along.  And I’ll probably make it a page instead of just a post so…like I said, zero, zilch, zip.

But wait, there is a new interview up on the Dames of Dialogue blog with author Sharyn McCrumb and there’s also a slightly older post about aging and extreme sports by guest author Ric Wasley.  Check them out and yep, you got it, don’t forget to leave a comment!

That’s about it from me today.  Sheesh, couldn’t even break 300 words with this one!  Hope everyone’s having a fabulous day!

I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I posted anything here.  So much for that class on being a good blogger.  I guess my mind was otherwise occupied when the teacher talked about the importance of blogging at least once a week.  Oops and yikes!

Anyway, I have been busy.  Between weekend trips to Knoxville to help my mother-in-law move and see my father-in-law–who’s now walking again.  Yay!–I’ve been working on a short story for a free read promotion on Cata in April.  Based on the Cherokee legend of Atagahi, it’s about a female shape-shifter who gets shot and the hero takes her to the Enchanted Lake to heal her.  I finished it yesterday but it stilll needs some serious editing before I send it in.

I’ve also been getting my garden going–in between the rain and snow showers.  Yep, I said snow, it snowed here yesterday.  Again, yikes!  Thank goodness the plants in my garden seem to have survived but I’m fervently praying that’s the last snow I see for a while–like until December 24th!  So far, I’ve planted broccoli, lettuce, onions and a few herbs, all plants that can withstand cooler weather.  I’m hoping to get the carrot seeds out tomorrow before it starts to rain again.

Writing and gardening, two things I love to do so I figured I needed to balance that with something I don’t like at all…spring cleaning.  All I’ve got to say about that is…yuck!  I’d much rather be writing or gardening!

Okay, now on to the real reason I’m here–the Dames of Dialogue have a new interview up with author Dorothy Francis.  It’s a fascinating insight into the mind of a mystery writer so check it out and don’t forget to leave Dorothy a comment!

I rarely talk about having MS and most of the time, I hardly think about it, but when it flares up, it’s pretty much the only thing I can think about.  Right now, as I’m going through an exacerbation–fancy medical term for feeling like crap because of MS–I want only to be able to write and think coherently.  But that’s probably not going to happen, so I apologize in advance if this post doesn’t make any sense.

Still, even with the muddled state of my mind, I have something to say to my guys (aka the Boston Red Sox): snap out of it!  Your lead in the AL East is a thing of the past and it’s pretty much a given that the Yankees are going to win the AL East–and why shouldn’t they, after all, they certainly paid enough for it.  I know, I know, “money can’t buy happiness,” but I’m here to tell you, this year, if you’re a Yankee fan, it most certainly can and has.  But that doesn’t mean we should give up hope.  There’s still the wildcard, but if you keep playing the way you did the last two games, that’s going to be gone too.  So come on guys, snap out of it before it’s too late!

The other thing on my dim, woolly mind these days is where did the summer go?  Seems like just yesterday I was planting my garden and dreaming of all the summer goodness to come.  That’s over now, for the most part, but it’s not as over as it would be if I still lived in Maine.  Right now, up in Maine, the leaves are already turning and vegetable gardens are lying fallow–or most of them are–and apple season has arrived.  Fall’s always been my favorite time of the year and I particularly loved it when I lived in Maine.  More than the beauty of the leaves, the air is literally saturated with the smell of apples.  Did you know Maine is the number two state in the nation for apples, second only to Washington state?  Well, it is and let me tell you, if you’re there in the fall, you get to see the beauty of the leaves and you also get the wonderful smell of apples.  I used to love sitting on my porch and just breathing in that fragrance, so sweet it would make my mouth water.

Where I live in North Carolina, they also have a lot of apple orchards.  I’m right down the road from “Apple Valley” so I’m surrounded by them, but for some reason, you don’t get the same smell as you do up in Maine…except if you go to downtown Hendersonville during the apple festival which just happens to take place on Labor Day weekend every year.

This is Labor Day weekend.  Too bad I’ll have to miss the annual festival..but then, it looks like I’ll also be missing the World Series, another thing that makes fall my favorite time of year.  Well, unless my guys get their act together and get red-hot before too many more games are past.  Who knows, maybe they’ll surprise us all like they did in 2004.

Hey, it could happen.  You know what they say,  there’s always hope!

Rain, rain, won’t you please go away,
And don’t come back some other day,
It rained the entire month of May,
I’m sick of rain, I have to say!

The month of June I beg and pray
For beaming sun day after day
I want to go outside and play
‘Neath skies of blue instead of gray!

Yes, it’s raining here–again!  We had a few days earlier in the week with sunshine and I was hoping it was an omen for June, but no, the rain came back.  At least we’re not under the Flash Flood watch anymore–for now!  Do you know how hard it is to grow a garden without sunshine?   Well, let me tell you, it can’t be done.  My garden, or what’s left of it, is slowly rotting away and I doubt we’ll see much home grown vegetables this year.  Home grown mush is about all we can hope for and who wants mush, home grown or otherwise?

On the other hand, my shade-loving perennials are doing great and the Mountain Laurels?  Gorgeous!  So I’ll leave you with a pic of one of the massive bushes in my back yard.  Hope it brightens your day wherever you are!

Mountain Laurel09.jpg


How cool is it that First Lady Michelle Obama is putting in a vegetable garden at the White House for the first time since Eleanor Roosevelt? 

I love gardening, whether it’s growing vegetables or flowers.  One thing I’m looking forward to this year is planting a vegetable garden now that we’re in a house.  Couldn’t do that in an apartment and boy, did I miss it.  My garden won’t be anywhere as large as the First Lady’s, but the size doesn’t matter, it’s the pleasure of growing things from seed that means the most to me.

A few likenesses that made me smile while reading about this year’s White House garden:

Mrs. Obama plans to include a number of herbs in her garden–something I always do in my vegetable gardens.  Beyond the value of companion planting, I just flat-out love the way they smell.

Mrs. Obama plans to line the walkways of her garden with marigolds, zinnias, and other flowers.  Marigolds and zinnias, two flowers I never fail to plant in my vegetable gardens.  The zinnias because they’re so cheerful and bright, as are the marigolds, but the marigolds are also very good at keeping away certain garden pests.

There will be no beets in the White House garden because President Obama hates beets, as does my husband.  I can usually count on him to eat just about anything, except beets.  He absolutely hates them!

So tomorrow, my husband gets to use his new toy to till up my garden.  Then next weekend, he’ll put up a fence around it to keep the dogs from digging up what I plant and the weekend after that, if the weather’s warm enough, we’ll be planting–if I can wait that long!

I can almost taste the fresh green beans (my favorite) right now!

Whistling Woman by CC Tillery

Winds of Fate

Storm Shadows

Snow Shadows

PMS Anthology

Romance of My Dreams