Tonight or tomorrow the ornaments will come down. The tree will go out in the trash or in the back of our lot where the fox might use it for shelter. All the holiday trinkets will be wrapped in tissue paper. They'll go back into plastic boxes, to be carried down to the basement and stored for another year. I will linger over each ornament, but one in particular will be hard to put away. This small Bichon in a stocking (above) is a very, very … [Read more...] about My Mother's Last Gift
It's certainly been a year to remember. In May, Paper, Scissors, Death was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. The list of novelists over the years who have been nominated include Mary Higgins Clarke, Jan Burke, and Janet Evanovich. I mean, really, how could you be in better company?Cut, Crop & Die was released in June 2009, but the release was quickly overshadowed by word that my mother had terminal cancer.My mom died in … [Read more...] about What's New in My Life?
In every life, at every holiday, there are empty chairs, reserved for the people we love who are no longer with us. This year I will look for my mother. I will expect to see her smiling over the funny trinkets in the aisles at Walmart. I will expect to hear her laugh when that stuffed snowman at the plastic piano sings, "Have a holly, jolly Christmas." I will go on thinking how I need to get a gift for her, and then I will remember, she has … [Read more...] about Empty Chairs
On occasion, I must confess that my faith slips a cog, like a car with a bad clutch. When I see good people frightened by a seemingly hopeless future, when I hear bad news crowding out all else in the media, when I look into the faces of strangers and find soul-weary sadness, I wonder, "Is there really a God? A benevolent force in our Universe?" and my belief that we are watched over, cared for, and loved falters … [Read more...] about Another Christmas, Another Miracle
Note: Last year I asked my scrapbooking friends to share how they de-stress during the holidays. The responses were AMAZING. This is the fifth and final "de-stress" email for this season. Isn't it lovely?--JoannaOne of the big things my husband and I had in common was our love for Christmas, and we always always ALWAYS celebrated it in a big way.Back in the days when my husband was in the military, and we lived in Germany, Christmas was fun, but … [Read more...] about De-Stress for the Holidays, Part V
Note: This is Part II in a series of posts written by my scrapbooking friends on how they de-stress over the holidays. Be sure to check back on Dec. 15, 18 and 23 for more installments--JoannaWe are big outside light decorators. We have about 15,000 lights. So we enjoy also seeing other's displays. A nice way for us to de-stress is to do dinner out and take a drive looking for Christmas lights. Tonight we did just that and my Mom was with us. I … [Read more...] about De-Stress for the Holidays, Part II