Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Old Phones for sale - restored, working original telephones
I Remember When......
     Hey everyone.  Does the picture above look familiar to you?  Do you remember trying your hardest to dial a phone number only to receive a woman's voice on the other end saying, "Can I help you?", when your multiple attempts failed in dialing the correct phone number?  Mainly because your fingers were beginning to cramp from holding your finger in the selected hole and trying to pull the rotary all the way around without stopping.
    Growing up, my Grandma had one of these phones and let me tell you; she didn't allow any kid to touch her phone!  It didn't matter that it was ringing off the hook.  For those of you that have never heard an ol' timey phone like this ring, compared to the phones today, it would tear your nerves up it was so loud.  The noise of it ringing naturally gave you the impression that the handset was jumping in the cradle. 
   "Talk on the phone?"  My mom gave me a crazy look one time when I asked to use the only phone in our home to call one of my friends.  "There's chores to be done; something always to be done in a house."  And she was right.  
     I think I was 12 or 13 before Grandma and my mom gave me permission to  start answer and talking on her phone.      
     But in today's society, everyone has a phone or should I say cell phone.  Every time I see a small kid they have some type of phone device in their small hands.  Some I've seen can't even feed themselves but they were 'going to town' pushing buttons and using their index finger to scroll from screen to screen. 
    Am I the only one who see this as frightening?  Or is it because I'm old fashioned?  I, myself never started texting until two years ago.  Yes, it's easier and more quieter to text but society as a whole has lost phone etiquette. 
     Here are some examples I have encounter on my 'day' job and the list is continuing to grow. 
     They are chewing food while talking, talking to other people while trying to talking to me.  Babies are screaming while the caller is holding them and trying to talk to me over their kid screaming.  Dogs are barking right next to the caller.  People are driving down the road with either the window down blowing into their cellphone or Bluetooth or, (this is my favorite) while the radio blasting in your ear to Lynyrd Skynyrd Free Bird! 
     I once had a person to say, "Lookahen!"  (For those that don't know what that is, it's Lumbee for 'look a here') "I'm watching my favorite show 'American Idol', now get off my phone!" and they hung up.  Till this day, every time I see that show advertised I think of my caller and I start laughing. 
     Last, but not least, their is one that sends me into orbit!  I called somewhere to try to get some information and the person that answered the phone responded with, ''huh?", but they let the annoying sound hang drag out for every bit of fifteen seconds.  I hung up and called back demanding to speak to someone else.    
     Change is sometimes good but not when society forgets their manners and not when courtesy is throwed to the side.  The one thing that causes problems in any relationship is lack of 'verbal' communication.  If society stays on this path, and I know it will, the generations behind us are already at a social disadvantage!      

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Thanksgiving Clip Art
#THANKSGIVING ~ I Remember When....
     Today, we celebrate Thanksgiving!  Over the last month or so, I've been reflecting on my childhood Thanksgiving's.  The holiday seems to be so much more strenuous now.  Commercials and TV shows nowadays are pitching the idea that the Thanksgiving dinner is suppose to be prefect, or your a failure.  
     Cooking experts are giving tips on how to cook the 'perfect turkey', interior decorators are giving tips on how to decorate with the 'perfect' elements to make the dinner occasion spectacular and fashion buffs are giving tips on how to dress for the occasion.
    But is that what Thanksgiving is all about?  Sadly, no it's not.  Unfortunately, Thanksgiving has become just as commercialized as Christmas!  
    I remember as a small child we didn't have turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.  It was a hen or rooster off the yard, killed the day before and baked in a brown paper bag that had been used to bring home the groceries in.  Does anyone else remember the use of a brown paper bag?  The stuffing was made from ol' fashioned cornbread and seasoned with sage picked right off a sage bush grown right in the backyard.  The first recollection I have of a turkey at Thanksgiving was when my dad's employer gave all the employee's either a ham or turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas. 
     There were no painted pallets with pumpkins in the yard, no lights, no bails of hay with pumpkins and mum flowers displayed, and no fancy wire ribbon or burlap wreathes on the doors.  Any pumpkins I saw were cooked into pies and turnovers.  If any burlap was being used it was a burlap sack to pick up leftover corn in the field that was then placed in the corn crib to feed the live stock during the winter months.  
     There were no tablecloths, napkins, napkins holders, fancy dishes, name place cards nor any candles and glitters stuff strawn  about.  We ate from dishes that were purchased from using green back stamps at Piggly Wiggly?  Does anyone remember those stamps and the gifts the you could get from a catalog by shopping at Piggly Wiggly?  I'd love to have a set of those dishes.  There were very heavy and they didn't break easily.  If I remember correctly, they were made with some type of stoneware.  I remember my grandmother had a set that was a dark-brown,stone-like dish and a set that were tan with flowers around the rim.  If there wasn't enough of dishes, we ate out of tin pie plates.  And still if there wasn't enough of plates to go around, the ones that finished eating first, there plate was washed and given to those who hadn't ate.  After dinner, food was put away, dishes washed, the kitchen cleaned up and it was nap time.  Afterwards, we went visiting other family members.  Stores were closed and there was no rushing to go shopping.    
Those were the good old days.  A time when we stopped and gave thanks for what we did have.  How many of you did that today?  I did and I will continue to do so.  We're so blessed and yet it seems no one is really happy.  So I challenge you beginning this day forward, lets start thanking God for what we do have, even when life gives us a hard way to go, lets start praising God!  He will always be there to guide and help us along the way!
Please join me in my next blog, I remember when..... 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Saturday night, May 2, I had the opportunity to attend a concert in my very own hometown.  In was also one of my New Year's resolutions to start enjoying life and to stop sweating the small stuff that I don't have any control over.  So Saturday evening I drove my son and I three miles to UNC-Pembroke's GPAC.  
The country band; Parmalee, are from Parmalee, North Carolina.  As the band stood on the stage before us, I looked upon them in amazement, not because they are climbing the ladder to fame or that they are living in Nashville, but because like I, they also are from a small southern town who made their dreams as an artist come true. 
After the concert, the band signed autographs and took photos with the fans.  I handed my car keys to my teen and told him to go get his guitar.  He hesitated, like all teens do and in a stern voice, like all mama's have, I told him to 'GO!'. 
The results were wonderful.  Standing in line, I pulled out my manuscript and I began to work on it.  Oh, I got some crazy looks, but I didn't care.  When it was my son's turn, he unzipped his electric guitar out of the case and each band member signed it! 
My son got his photo taken and as he stepped away, I took a step forward and said, "Thanks fella's for taking time out for my son."
One of the band members looked up and called out, "Hey, hold on a minute."  He reached into his jean pocket.  "Here, this is what I play with."  And he handed my son a guitar pick. 
My son's eyes grew wide and his face lit up like a Christmas tree.  His hands shook as he looked down at the pick and back up at the band member.  "Thanks."  And my son walked away on cloud nine. 
The guitar player didn't have to do that, nor did the band have to sign my son's guitar but they did.  And in doing so, they planted a seed.  A seed of hope, a seed of encouragement and proof that dreams do come true with a little hard work.  



Thursday, April 9, 2015

Wow!  I happened to look at my blog a couple of days ago and I realized that it had been two months since I had last blogged.  The only explanation I can give?  Life and the hurdles it places in our path.  In February, here in the southern part of North Carolina, there were several days that we had ice and it never fails; inclement weather always throws our life out of sync.  At least for me it does. When its icy and rainy weather I'm more apt to go straight home from work than to go to the gym were I love to workout and work on my manuscripts.  

Once the ice past, then we had several weeks of rain.  We got so much rain my husband and I joked that we needed a boat to get in and out from our home.  Unfortunately, all the rain we got drowned out a section of my dad's field and killed the wheat that was planted.  For those that know a little about farming, you know what we will be doing this spring and summer....Yep digging out our ditches. 

 During this time I also found a critique partner after a very long search...Yeah!  What I thought was a finished manuscript wasn't.  She read my first three chapters, gave me her input, opinion and suggestions in a very understanding approach.  After a phone conservation that lasted three hours I was left again with apprehension of 'which way do I go George?'  (Does anyone remember that old cartoon where the hound-dog is searching for the fox?)  That's how I felt, I knew it was there (the way I wanted my story to start/go/end) but how did I get to it?  So one night on my way home I passed my old elementary school and on the sigh was the one word that not only set me in the right direction but also confirmed that I wasn't crazy for spending my time which were beginning to feel fruitless on a manuscript.  The word was Forgiveness.  I realized then that not only do we need to ask God for forgiveness but we need to also forgive ourselves.       


Working, taking care of a family and trying our best to make a go at our love of writing; something, somewhere is going to fall short.  It's the simple things in life that we need to cherish more.  These last pics are of my oldest son that were taken by my youngest son.  Just a causal sunny day in the yard playing with our new puppies.  I don't know who had more fun, me watching the puppies play, my oldest son letting the puppies romp all around him or my youngest who was laughing at taking the pics.  Whenever I look at these pics I can't help but smile.....I hope you do as well.....

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Characters, plots and personal stakes.  It all boils down that these three can make you or break you when it comes to a manuscript.  I've been struggling with my current manuscript, 'When There's Hope for Tomorrow' for the past couple of weeks.  Struggling because I was once told that my main character Hope wasn't realistic in that she was optimistic that one day her family would stop ostracizing her.  It's realistic, it's real and it happens everyday; unfortunately, just ask anyone who lives down South.  
But that's not why I'm struggling.  I'm struggling because Flo, the main character in my first novel, 'A Sister's Love', whom I modeled after myself, and now, I am having a hard time writing about a character who is timid, shy and is a pacifist.  Me, when I get a burr up my saddle, I just won't rock the boat, I'll turn it upside down, and if you happen to be inside, you better have a life jacket on.  Holding my tongue has never been a forte of mine; I'm always speaking my mind.  To my surprise, I find that when I'm blogging I don't write what I'm actually thinking and saying out-loud as I ride the delete and backspace button.  
So I've been trying to visualize what my character would say, what she would do and how she would react, especially when I'm driving and someone pulls out in front of me.  And let me tell you it's been hard.  Flo wanted to come alive but I had to reel her back in and say, 'No, not yet, book 2 isn't finished, your coming back to be in book 3'.  Oh, let's hope!  But I think it's working, at least I think it is; I have new ideas I'm eager to play with, new plots to work on and insert in my manuscript and to me that is exciting.  As you recalled in my last blog, I was at a crossroads: stop writing or to keep going.  I'm happy to report that I'm going to keep writing.  There so much about my culture that others don't know and more than anything I've got stories to tell!  So tell me, do you imagine yourself as your characters?  I would hope that all authors and writers put a little of themselves in their characters, otherwise they wouldn't be memorable.       


Monday, January 12, 2015

crossroads : Crossroads in autumn wood.


It happens when we least expect it; no matter how much we plan and when it does, there are only two choices; to quit or to keep going.  That's what happened to me over a month ago when an editor looked at the first four chapters of my manuscript.  Field with despair, my husband told me to take a month off from writing completely; even blogging.  Oh I balked, believe me, but after deep consideration I agreed.
I took a step back, bought some books on writing productively and enjoyed the holidays with friends and family.  So now its back to work; but the main question that keeps popping up is which way do I go?  Do I following what the editor suggested and start over or do I be adamant and stick to my guns?
But to grow there has to be a change and to change there is growth.  My problem is I want to change and grow at my own rate.
A month later, with a clear mind, I'm revisiting and reevaluating the suggestions the editor made.  I'm no longer bulking at the suggestion that I should cut the first ten pages, I'm now thinking, 'Yes, I'll cut it.  Cut it and move it to Chapter 10.'
How do you handle change?  Do you balk also or do you go with the flow?

Hello friends,  HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to you All!  I hope everyone is well and coping during this #COVID-19 pandemic.  I can only ima...