With all the stress, loss, loneliness, and changes to our “normal” routines 2020 has delivered, sometimes the thought of “moving” to the town of Hallmark sounds appealing. An escape where only happiness and love abound. At times, though, some of the movies are just a bit too predictable and perfect for even me. Still, if you’re in need of a deluge of joy, the Hallmark channel won’t disappoint. And I hope my little piece of happy Hallmark writing below brings a smile and a positive start to your week…
How heavenly to have home in Hallmark. A huge, humble harvest of happiness. The “happy” hyperbole hurries a headache. However, hear the harmony, harness the hope, humility, hospitality, and huggable humanity. The hummingbird’s hum is a highlight. Holiday honey, hazelnut, and Havarti heighten the hunger in the household. It’s happening! Heed the harmonious and heartwarming high spirits!!!!
Wishing you an abundance of happiness this week and a very Happy and Safe Thanksgiving! ~Lauren 🧡💗😊🍁🍂
Do you trust me? Will you take my hand and let me lead the way to a place transcending the boundaries of our reality? Let us get lost in tranquility – dancing to the majesty of the surroundings, feeling the rhythm vibrate through our bones. For as long as our hearts desire, this is our destination. Time is but a memory. Its existence leaves no trace on the path where we tread. There is only you, me, and the intensity of our belonging to each other.
My daughter took these photos in Tennessee and these murals are too amazing not to share. The artists are most likely local, so we do not take credit. In fact, we applaud them not only for their talent, but for the timely messages. Don’t you agreethe world needs a great deal more of Peace, Love, and Sunflowers?
What a year this has been…so traumatic and devastating for many because of the loss they have endured, and for the rest of us, it has been a time where new normals could not be avoided – different ways of going about our everyday lives simply had to be implemented. For the west coast, fire season has come and gone, and gratefully, our first family of raindrops has arrived. Mother Earth smiles and sighs with relief.
Autumn officially presents herself and brings a cozy, warm complexion of spicy nutmegs, pumpkin oranges, burnt squash yellows, and pomegranate reds. Can we break away from the rat race even for a moment and remember to inhale, then exhale, s-l-o-w-l-y? Do you think we can relax the pace and capture the magic around us that we would normally let pass by?
Maybe in that moment as the landscape shifts, we will feel gratitude for the gift of another day and the possibilities in a new year that are so close we can almost touch them ever so gently.
I am excited to introduce you to D.G. Kaye today, or better known as Debby. I have followed Debby’s blog for several years now and it has been a joy to not only read her amazing, witty, and honest writing, but to also get to know her as a new friend who has a big heart. She has written many books, so I pulled two out of the hat: Conflicted Hearts first, then Twenty Years After “I Do.”
My First 5-Star Review:
Conflicted Hearts is a compilation of personal essays from D.G. Kaye’s emotional experiences of growing up with her unloving and narcissistic mother. The author struggles with her obligation as a daughter, but also her responsibility to care for herself regarding her own healthy well-being. In each chapter as she opens yet another window giving us a glimpse into her extremely trying times, the emotions become palpable. Because I am a mother of two adult children whom I love to the moon and back, I often felt tears forming and my heart being tugged at in different directions. How a mother can abandon her own children is something I find difficult to understand. D.G. Kaye writes with emotion, vulnerability, and humor. She is not afraid to admit mistakes, but she will also gladly glow in triumph – moments when I felt like clapping, thrilled with the outcome and thrilled for her!
Unfortunately, she lost her childhood because of her mother’s constant absence in the household. Her mother would rather be out partying, seeking the attention of men by using her luminescent beauty, and by doting on her passion for gambling. With the author being the oldest of her siblings, she naturally slid into the role of “mother” which in turn, shaped her decision of possibly not wanting to have children in the future. Her parent’s relationship ran extremely hot and cold, but mostly hot when her mother kicked her father out repeatedly. She adored her father, so each time he left, fear crept into her very soul that she would never see him again.
The author writes with honesty and when she finds herself acknowledging enlightening realizations, she revels in her own personal growth. I read Conflicted Hearts not only as a memoir, but also as a compelling self-help book. And a difficult decision lies in waiting with each turn of the page exemplifying the author’s courage and strength. I am sure her struggles are felt by others so that her personal growth benefits those who live each day in similar circumstances.
This is the first book of D.G. Kaye’s that I have read and because her writing is natural, conversational, and engaging, I am excited to read more from her. This book definitely falls into the can’t put down category. If you enjoy reading memoirs and self-help books, I highly recommend Conflicted Hearts. You will find yourself on an emotional and inspirational wild ride that will both touch and tug at your heart. An excellent read!
My Second 5-Star Review:
D.G. Kaye’s memoir,Twenty Years After “I Do” piqued my interest for a couple of reasons. First, I’ve been married for thirty-one years to a man who is not only my loving husband but who is my very best friend. I wanted to read what the author had to say on the subject, and she certainly inserted many pearls of wisdom of which I agreed with. Before I met my husband, I had dated a man twenty years older than me, so reading her perspective on the age difference grabbed my attention, as well. This was the second book that I have read from Debby, so I was already familiar with her beautiful, conversational writing.
Debby offers snippets of insight from her own experiences on how to keep a marriage happy and unbreakable. She adds how humor can lighten any heavy situation and intimately writes of how sex ultimately changes from dating to married life. Most importantly though, she conveys that love has no timeline. Couples should enjoy each moment together and unconditional love will carry them through the difficult times. I was moved by this lovely collection of stories from Debby’s marriage to Gordon, and how she met true love when she least expected. An enjoyable read and one I highly recommend!
Debby Gies is a Canadian memoir/nonfiction writer who writes under the pen name D.G. Kaye. She writes about real life experiences and matters of the heart sharing life lessons in hopes to empower others.
I hope you enjoyed these snippets of my appreciation, and know that I appreciate all of you who continue to pop in and read what’s been on my mind. The last couple of weeks have been tough in some ways, but today is a new day. I hope you’re doing well and wish you a wonderful week.
Is there a challenge enticing you, but your lack of confidence makes you shy away from even trying? Well, do you realize you are allowing negative voices to control your actions? You are giving them free rent in your brain. How kind of you. Kidding. Only You know what your capabilities are without having anyone remind you, not even yourself! So, you should evict those voices! Now! Don’t wait! But it’s not easy, is it? We’re too quick to second guess ourselves, so we listen…well, listen to this…
Copper thinks he’s a lap dog. He has no idea that he is tall and lean, weighs 75 lbs. and is all muscle. Hence, he is not a lap dog! Truth is, because he’s confident in how he feels and because he sees himself as a chihuahua, he gracefully curls his body and folds his long legs to fit into the tiniest space – especially in the spotlight of the sun. He is the most faithful sun worshiper. And he’ll place himself between two pieces of furniture and lean. Yes, he’s a leaner. He leans on us when he sits next to us. He leans against the sofa and chairs and anything else that will hold his weight.
So, be like Copper and just do what you set your mind to. Don’t second guess yourself. Don’t give those voices free rent anymore! You have more important data to occupy your mind and Dogs really do know best, don’t they? 🙂
Stand tall on your own two feet – don’t give doubt the upper hand.And observe your furry family members who truly know how to live a life of happy!
I have been a fan of Balroop Singh’s poetry for many years now. She has a magical way of weaving words together that mesmerize and inspire, which explains the spot-on title for her new poetry collection, Magical Whispers.
This beautiful edition is divided into two segments: Magical Whispers and Whispers of Life. The first segment effortlessly captivates as we read verses that truly convey Singh’s love and connection to Mother Nature. Since I am an avid hiker and backpacker, I resonate fully with each line and image the author paints with her enchanting poetic style. The poems that stand out for me are Stream Whispers, Celestial Lake, Love is Love, and Whispers of Soul.
The second segment touches on various components of life such as: love, dreams, sorrow, fear, and perseverance. Singh’s character holds a strong conviction that although life may be full of shadows, light always seeps through even if in tiny dewdrops. Her poetry expresses the epitome of strength and hope of which life cannot be lived to the fullest without. My favorites are Remember Me, Betrayers, Sentinels, The Magic of Love, and Sublime Sky. And yet, although I list a few poems that move me, Singh’s collection in its totality transports me into tranquility and reflection. Her book graces my home library so that I can sink into the magic of her verses over and over again. I highly recommend adding this lovely poetry book to your home library, as well.
Balroop Singh, a former teacher and an educator always had a passion for writing. She is a poet, a creative non-fiction writer, a relaxed blogger and a doting grandma. She writes about people, emotions and relationships. Her poetry highlights the fact that happiness is not a destination but a chasm to bury agony, anguish, grief, distress and move on! No sea of solitude is so deep that it can drown us. Sometimes aspirations are trampled upon, the boulders of exploitation and discrimination may block your path but those who tread on undeterred are always successful.
When turbulences hit, when shadows of life darken, when they come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior, when they threaten to shatter your dreams, it is better to break free rather than get sucked by the vortex of emotions.
Balroop Singh has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. The moonlight streaming through her garden, the flowers, the meadows, the butterflies cast a spell on her. She lives in San Ramon, California.
I encourage you to visit Balroop at her blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com/. While there, you can peruse her full collection of poetry books that she has published and findother ways to connect with her.Take a breath and dive into the magic and beauty of her words.
Can you believe the holidays are just around the corner? It seems unreal because of the virus – how our everyday living has changed. Even though it’s hard to fathom that the year is coming to a close, my trusty calendar says it is, so I thought it would be a good time to post this Christmas tale from last year.
In excitement we wriggle from head to toe anticipating our daughter and fiancé’s visit from Nashville. The newly-engaged couple flies out early December to beat the holiday airport chaos. Thanksgiving dishes barely sparkle when we push and pull our Noble Fir through the front door. I want the house to be dressed in holiday attire for when they arrive. But the day after Thanksgiving is early to buy a tree, so the pickings are slim and the cost is a heart-stopper. Yet, there in the living room by the window stands the evergreen, reflecting in the paned glass.
My husband takes charge of putting up the outside decorations – hanging the Christmas flag, stringing the lights on the house, and sprinkling big ornaments on our shrubbery. My son and I begin indoor decorating by winding the lights among the branches on the tree. As we hand the wiry bunch to each other, around and around, they blink awake like eyes opening brightly. But then suddenly, they go out like sleepy eyes closing. When we tested them earlier, they lit up just fine, so their slumbering is surely a mystery. Feeling frustrated, we fuss with the tiny bulbs, and eventually, they blink “Merry Christmas” again. (Problem solved or so we think.) Then come the ornaments – many made by our children’s’ little hands: photos of them skirted in gold stars or in the arms of pink angels. The clothespin reindeer look excited to join Santa on Christmas Eve, and the homemade sequin ornaments from my husband’s grandma transports him back to the sixties. His grandma was stern but kindhearted, and when she cooked each Sunday for the following week, there was enough food to feed everyone in the county. Then my fingers feel around in the box for another ornament, latching onto the white puffy heart engraved with Dad’s birth and death date. It’s like hanging memories one by one, triggering teardrops or raising smiles. When the tree stands fully adorned, it truly looks Noble.
Outside for onlookers, the house lights blink a winter white with a splash of red, gold, green, and silver hanging among the greenery, but more Christmas spirit arrives with our Nashville kids. They gave us a beautiful wreath which hangs on the front door and completes the decorating. In the evenings, we gather around the table, catching up on life and sharing delicious food. They share their wedding plans and we hear their excitement to search for a special place to exchange vows. And we bake! Having my daughter home to help mix up some sweetness conjures up delightful baking memories.
I want to freeze time – for it alone is an illusion: drifting by like the slow drip of honey, yet, flying by like a hummingbird seeking nectar. With a blink of an eye, our visit with them has ended and it’s time for goodbye-hugs which are never easy; bittersweet tears fall like liberated water over a broken dam. Too soon my cell phone pings, telling me they’re boarding their plane. Once their feet safely touch Tennessee ground, I push the restart button in my routine. Phone calls, Facetime, and text messages don’t replace their presence but will suffice until their next trip.
Our focus is back to the Noble Fir and we notice it doesn’t appear to be thirsty. This evergreen that cost an arm and a leg is beginning to dry up faster than a drop of water on a sun-kissed sidewalk. Then to our surprise, the bottom lights go out! A couple of days later with one tilt of our heads, we spot the lights on top of the tree are out! Frustration seeps into our veins for a second, then trickles of laughter follow, and because we’re too busy to shop for new lights, our tree remains topless and bottomless where festive colors once shimmered! We join Charlie Brown and call it our Peanut’s tree – a little forlorn to our eyes but beautiful just the same. The angel our daughter made years ago, though only a toilet paper roll with lacey craftsmanship, sits in a place of honor on top of the tree. Replacing this dear angel is out of the question, so we look to her for hope that the tree lasts until the big day!
Moving on from our tree-light calamity, it’s time to bake again. I find my mother-in-law’s gingerbread recipe, preheat the oven, then press the button on my faithful hand mixer. When all ingredients are blended, I dip a spoon into the sweet-spicy batter. I have to make sure it’s fine for others to eat. Of course, I do. I was about to put the pan in the oven, opening the door, when I realize 350-degree heat did not whoosh out at me in the face. I call my husband over and we do some button-pressing, hoping our magic touches will perk up the oven. No luck, but no need to panic fully because the burners work, so not a total loss. The gingerbread stays overnight in the fridge, but I’m unsure as to how refrigeration will affect the batter. I call on a friend for help and use her oven the next day. When the timer beeps, the bread looks done, except for the molten-looking center – mushy, but honestly, gooey and delectable.
Two weeks pass since the oven’s demise, and no repairman is available until December 30th. It sounds like the death of many appliances! At least the oven functioned when my daughter and I needed it to for our upcoming cookie exchange. Four dozen buttercream-frosted sugar cookies were displayed on glass platters: stars, Christmas trees, gingerbread men, and angels all bejeweled in red and green sprinkles. Now, as Christmas draws closer by the minute, I feel off-kilter because I’m unable to bake.
While the oven sits waiting to be repaired, the alternator in one of our cars dies! First the lights, then the oven, now the car! But wait, there’s more…our big TV is next on this chain of events! What a kerfuffle this holiday season has been with things going kaput! I won’t ask, because if I do, we’ll wonder what’s next! I didn’t ask!
Because of the unexpected and unfortunate events, our shopping sprees have barely begun. But we’ll still find merchandise sitting on the shelves, contrary to popular belief that Black Friday is the only day to shop for Christmas. And each time I walk past our unique Christmas tree, I am reminded of the quote, paraphrasing, of course, “It’s not about the beginning or destination; it’s about the journey.” Well, the tree’s middle glows with Christmas enthusiasm and so does our journey through this holiday season in spite of the blips.
These hiccups caused us to pause, but they’re not the end of the world. Baking later could develop into a new tradition. Our tree will remain noble until Christmas Day, or at least we hope it will. Those temperamental lights will be tossed when the tree comes down. The car is on its wheels again. So, regardless of these glitches, the blessings stand tall: precious family time, safe travels for our Nashville kids, and gifts beneath the tree acting as an evergreen anchor. Saving the best for last – our family’s good health. What more can we ask for besides new lights for our tree next year!
I hope this account of my family’s last Christmas brought smiles and maybe even a few giggles. And I have a strong hunch, this holiday season will look a little different. But if good health abounds, that’s what matters most. And Cheers to hoping 2021 is much brighterfor all!
I was thrilled to be a part of John’s blog tour in helping him promote his new book which is now a new favorite in my home library. So,today I introduce John Howell againand I’m sharing my review of Eternal Road – The Final Stop.
My 5-star review on Amazon:
What a thrilling ride Eternal Road – The Final Stop turned out to be! We are introduced to James who is on a road trip in his classic 1956 Oldsmobile, but we are shocked when he ends up dying in a tragic car accident. And yet, we still find him driving his Oldsmobile when he decides to give a hitchhiker a ride, who surprisingly, happens to be his childhood sweetheart Sam. She is now an adult because seventeen years have flown by since they have seen each other. And when Sam breaks the surreal news to James that they have both passed on to eternal life, his head spins with questions that cannot be answered just yet. So, the two begin a compelling journey together in the afterlife. The challenges and twists and turns they encounter are spellbinding. John inserts time-travel which takes the reader to interesting historical time periods where Sam and James have critical decisions to make. Interlaced in the protagonists’ story is just about every genre and topic you can imagine: adventure, old west, suspense, romance, artificial intelligence, including visits from the devil, which I’ll admit, were a bit unsettling but had me on the edge of my seat.
Throughout their story, the more Sam and James learn about each other, the more the reader assumes a certain outcome. And yet, the events in their journey lead to a surprising ending. Their unfolding relationship tugs at the heart and settling family matters brought me to tears more than once. Eternal Road keeps the reader engaged to the very last sentence. This is a novel that simply cannot be put down! I was captivated from the very beginning to the point of wanting to skip work just so I could cozy up at home and read more about James and Sam! If you are up for a road trip in a 1956 classic Oldsmobile, I highly suggest you hop in and begin turning the pages!
John has a quick wit, a knack for clever dialogue, and an amazing talent for writing compelling fiction.So, I hope you’ll pay him a visit and don’t forget the universal links above for a copy of his book.