Snowbound in Michigan

Last month I spent 23 days visiting with my four grandchildren, Raevyndaun, Vykktoria, Vladmier, and Valerie. We spent time reading together and they helped me with a few reviews. We shared snapchat hours and made a lot of silly faces and glamorous photos with the SnapChat filters. We also admired the snow.

There was plenty of snow to admire too. It stayed snow covered the entire visit and I loved it. Sure, there was the occasional worry that I was going to slip down the stairs, but I held on to the banister of the porch tightly.

My daughter lives in a small rural area called Rock. My grandson’s class is only 7 students.  I feel like he is getting more hands-on teaching than the ones in the bigger classes so it was quite fun to see him so enthused about his class and his school.  We attended the lower grades Christmas production, and it was adorable. k-6 took turns lining up and performing. Of course, I had 3 of the sweetest and most talented waving from the stage to me madly. Yes, I was madly waving back to them!  Valerie the baby watched the production from the bleachers.  She is only 1 after all.

But you are here to find out about the snow.  There was snow, but the snowstorm came this last week. Doubling what had fallen while I was there. So I will share the pictures with you from this week.

As you can see the height of the snow on the banister on the deck. That cup was my Christmas gift from Raevyndaun, now she will have to bring it to me on the next trip down. I might have left one or two items in Michigan, including that cup and my coat.

This is the view as you look across the yard and to the right. The pristine snow that will no doubt be staying around until the spring thaw in May. I really enjoyed the view from the house with the snowy treeline.  It was calming, muffled, and beautiful.  While I watched the snow fall holding my cup of coffee, I truly knew what it was to relax. It was very calming.


This is the view as you drive up their drive to the main road. The beauty was captured by my son in law, and he did a wonderful job of finding the beauty for me to bring home wth me.

I am back in Kentucky now and we had a week of snowy weather here too.  It was like I brought Michigan home with me.

In case you have never met Casey this was us on Christmas day. A Mama and her Baby.



Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

Here we are the day before Christmas. I am still sitting next to a stove with a roaring fire and am preparing for a day of cookie making excitement with the family.  I am thinking about the people I am not near this holiday and missing you. Yet, I am so excited to be sharing this holiday with Casey, Ken, Raevyndaun, Vykktoria, Vladmier, and Valerie.  This is a Christmas present that  I have been enjoying for two weeks and I am still having a blast.

Sure, I found the Frozen tundra plague and have been coughing and hacking to beat that band, but I also have had some beautiful children bringing me cups of tea and pb&j sandwiches in order to make me feel better.  That makes the cold tolerable.

My gifts to the family will bring even more opportunities for snuggling together and I can’t wait to share them with the children.  Even as I miss my little Sarah and the Alabama kids as well as Jacob and Nathan, I am truly having a wonderful time. My heart is full.


While I am here looking at a frozen Lake Michigan, and you are in another part of the world celebrating Christmas alone, know you are in my thoughts and my heart.


Snap chat holiday picture!


Merry Christmas everyone!  


First Writers Group Meeting Was Today!

A few days back I mentioned that I had asked my local library on Facebook if they knew of any writers groups in the small town where I live. John answered my inquiry and told me there were several, one met every Friday at the library. He said I was welcome to join. So today, being Friday, at ten o’clock, I found myself in the conference room with five printed pages of my work in progress. That is the price of admission, you see, reading aloud five pages of your WIP.


Continue reading “First Writers Group Meeting Was Today!”

A Whole Wide World is Opening and I am Ready, Join me?

Reviews and word counts are one of the best parts of blogging for me. Until August, they were all I did, now I have added promoting. Adding  a few new aspects to my blog and they are opening doors I never expected.  Here I am at a certain age, watching the indie and literary world filling in the cracks and crevices which make me feel complete.  Connecting with authors, offering, and receiving reviews, is an amazingly beautiful process. Being aided by kind intelligent people and fellow bloggers on this learning curve. What a ride this is!  blog

Blogging, when I first signed up with WordPress, was nothing I understood. I thought it was similar to journaling. I signed up and sadly never came back. Not until October of 2015.  When WordPress congratulated me on my anniversary of six years, with not one post, I decided to post one. So I put up two small stories and walked away again for a month.  Then I noticed that I could connect my Goodreads book reviews to my blog and I posted that first bad boy, and never looked back.

Today, I use my blog to promote other authors, their books, their blogs,  and my own writing. Shockingly, I have made some wonderful friendships in less than one year. People that are friendly, supportive, talented, intelligent, kind, chatty, and basically,  just down right wonderful.

I will be gone over the weekend. I will be reading of course, while I tend to some personal business in Alabama. I am going to schedule a few posts just to keep my hand in and I will be back at it on Monday.


September is beginning a whole new episode of this life story, and I am standing on the precipice ready to jump and see what happens when the current lifts me high in the air! From that height, I can crash and burn, or I can soar.


I choose to soar, even if it is with singed wings! 

A Peek at My Collection of Antique Books

There is one thing that I absolutely love, and that is books.  Old books, new books, hardback, and paperback. My dearest love is my collection of antique readers and story books. I have one bookcase devoted to them. Today, I took them down lovingly, one by one and took their pictures.  Some are faded and their color lacking, others you can see the original colors and the images inside.  I am not a professional with the camera, so these might not be the best quality photos, but they serve their purpose.  So without further ado, I present, shelf one of my antique book collection.


These first two books are some of my oldest. One is a phonetic’s book from 1855  and the other is a Children’s Reading Primer published in 1935.



My two Frank Baum books, just make me happy and smile when I look at them. So detailed and so colorful.  This copy of The Wizard of Oz  was published in 1956 and The Land of Oz The Further Adventures of The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodsman was published in 1960.  Again, prized possessions.


This is the Jules Verne Book that led to The Castaways of the flag first published in 1923 in England.  This is the later adventures of the Swiss Family Robinson. This edition was published in 1924.  It has the original cloth binding with the attached front cover illustration. If I only had the dust Jacket.



This textbook is from the Alabama public school system and was a music book for children in the primary grades. Published in 1964.


This colorful reader is from 1960 and was issued to the school children in Kentucky.  It is filled with barnyard animal stories and other short stories to fire the young reader’s imagination.


The final book is from 1941 and was issued to school age children to promote good health. They learned about teeth, posture, how the muscles work, how the ears work,  and exercise.

Hope you enjoyed wandering through my bookcase and seeing my special books. Perhaps I will share more another day. There are three more shelves filled to the brim. Let me know about your favorite books and send pictures. I love looking at the covers and illustrations of old books.





Tech Kid’s Have it Made!

What do you do when your mother’s at work and your kitty needs batteries? You video her a plea for help and text her the video.  That’s what Sarah the six year old did.  Here is her video. Note the tap tap tapping the on button over and over for effect.  This video cracks me up.



I am working with her to do a VLOG of a book review, she is a bit shy. We will see if she will guest post one day.  As Sarah says at the end. “So, bye.”

Jukebox Restoration Project of T. Marmo

My son-in-law is one heck of a mechanical genius. This is the story of his ingenuity and creativity as he rebuilt an empty shell into a working piece of music history. Tony is always tinkering in the garage in his gadget filled workspace.

Every once in awhile he comes across a piece of electronics that is a total mess. Not working and sometimes in many pieces. In October 2015, Tony came across an AMI E-80  jukebox from 1953 that had no mech and was in bits and pieces. This is how it looked when it arrived in his workspace.

restore step 1

He started working on the shell checking for what was needed. Turned out everything was needed. Tubes, electronic components like capacitors and  all the wiring plus it needed an amp. So he located an old discarded amp that had been stored in a barn and began rebuilding that amp as well.  The amp is also from 1953 although not the original that belonged in that jukebox.

The original jukebox was known for the revolving color wheel that spun as the music played. This was obviously missing from the pile of parts and so Tony improvised. He thought about it and decided that a tuna can was the same diameter as the end of the color wheel so he emptied two cans of tuna, made a little tuna salad, cleaned the cans and used them for the metal casing. Here is the color wheel with the improvised cans on each end.color wheel

Once he had the lights spinning he made a little video showing how the lights now worked.  The spinning at the bottom and the rotation of the top are all thanks to the tuna cans.



As you can see the interior is not quite anything remarkable. It is empty and is not even at this point in time housing the mech that spins the records.  That mech is still in pieces in the workspace. and scattered about the work table.


The next point is to make the shell come to life.  Make it ready to house the mechanism. While waiting for the mech work, wiring and schematic studying, Tony began to reconstruct the amp. The amp needed new caps and wiring. This is how it looked when it arrived. As I stated, it had been stored in a barn and had obvious damage.

Before restore

Here is a picture of it once he had sanded and painted it as he waited for the caps to arrive in the mail.

restore amp

This restore took 8 months to complete, but the finished product is a thing of beauty.  The sound is brilliant and the jukebox looks amazing. We have it in the foyer and play it every night. It is a wonderful addition to our home.
restore back

This is the finished product and a video so you can hear the sound quality and see the lights in action.

This is the Next project on Tony’s to do list. Another amazing find from Craigslist. I will share the process when he finishes it.

Next Project

If you like his work and are as impressed with him as I am, send him a comment. I promise to pass it along to him.


Celebrity Sighting and Photo Op at Steak & Shake in Lexington

Tonight I decided to take two of the grandchildren to Steak and Shake in Lexington, Ky. While we were waiting on our delicious burgers and shakes, I noticed an employee taking pictures of a young lady and a white haired man. There was quite a group over there by the take-out counter.  Of course I am a little curious, but I actually thought it was someone’s family meeting up at the restaurant.

I looked over and thought, hey! I know that face.  I recognize that chin and that face.  There in the flesh was, Jay Leno.  He was standing at the counter. One by one people were coming over cell phones in hand taking pictures with him.  He was welcoming them.

When the crowd cleared away , I let my grandchildren go toward him. I asked if he minded taking a picture with them and he motioned them over to him.  One went over to him while the youngest one hid behind my legs. I got a great picture of Jacob with Jay.

Jay Leno and Grandson


What I did not realize was that the youngest was not just hiding behind me, she was peeking her head around my legs making faces at him and growling.  I only found this out when Jay Leno started making faces and growling back at her.

If only I had gotten a picture of that. My cell phone did not get that one in time. Here is Jay right before we approached him. Looking calm and casual at the counter.


Jay Leno Steak and Shake 42316

What a great accidental encounter this was for all three of us.   Jay Leno was in town to MC a fund raiser for the fallen Policemen of Richmond, Kentucky. We just felt we were in the right place at the right time. Thank you for your kindness to these children.