Tag Archive | Grandparents

The Tenth Day of Christmas – Ann Lacey

We’re getting closer and closer to Christmas Day and I hope you’ve been enjoying this ongoing event!180370774108_0_BG

Today I’m going to share a special memory that was a family tradition for years. I’m sad to say that I stopped doing this after my son grew up. I fear that unless he carries it on, it may fade away.

My mother’s ancestors came to the United States from Holland. There, fruit was always a luxury. Something cherished and definitely savored. In Holland, instead of stockings, the children put out their wooden shoes for Saint Nicholas. Good children got an orange, and naughty children got a lump of coal. The tradition of the Christmas stocking came when they made their move to the United States. They were not the fancy kind that we have today, they were real stockings and socks. The special gift from Santa that every child treasured was always in the toe of the stocking. It was an orange. A small cut was made in the rind and a coin was inserted. My great-grandpa always threatened my mother with a lump of coal, but she was always a good girl and never received one.

Mom carried on this tradition for us. The coin grew over the years from a quarter to a half dollar, and if my memory is correct, we even got silver dollars. The last few years I was blessed with a Christmas stocking, the coin was no longer inserted into the orange, instead it was taped on. I think she worried that the dirty coin would ruin the orange. Makes sense to me!

These days we take so much for granted, including oranges. Maybe Santa should start putting them in stockings again. I think I’ll tell him that it would be a good idea!

Today I’m welcoming Ann Lacey to my blog!
A Second Chance for Murder by Ann Lacey

Ann Lacey A Second Chance For Murder  Book Cover

When a young woman is murdered during a party at the family estate and local authorities are unable to find the culprit, Lady Thora Mannington decides to take matters into her own hands and sets out to find the killer herself!

Fearing for his impulsive sister’s safety, her brother, Nyle turns to his friend Lord Garren Huntscliff for help. Though his investigating days are over, Garren cannot refuse his troubled friend. No sooner does he take on the case than two more deaths occur and he soon discovers that he is matching wits against a dangerous and clever killer. Complicating his effort is the lovely Lady Thora, who insists on joining forces with him yet refuses to adhere to his cautions, continually places herself at risk and is so disarmingly enchanting that he finds himself falling for her. Now Garren has two things on his mind, find a crafty and elusive killer and keep the reckless Lady Thora from becoming a victim herself!

Pick up a copy today from Amazon.

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop Button with Frame

As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Ann donated a $25 Amazon card to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.

 

About the Author

I spent much of my life in New Jersey but have also lived in Florida and Wyoming. I currently reside in the lake region of central North Carolina. Living close to water, there are days when fog rolls in off the lake and creates an eerie mist. I love it but my dog, Molly, takes one look and refuses to leave the house.

When I’m not writing I read (lately with the help of a powerful pair of readers). For me there’s nothing better than a good who-done- it or a steamy romance! On rainy days, I enjoy watching old movies especially film noir and I can spend hours in an antique store.

I have recently moved to North Carolina and I’m delighted to say that southern hospitality truly exists!

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Technology

Does anyone else ever feel like they’re behind the times?

I’ve made great strides over the years learning the ins and outs of social media, and understanding the difference between an upload and a download. And yet there are times when I feel that my six-year-old grandson can navigate his way around a computer better than I can.

I used to laugh at my mom. I remember getting our first microwave oven. It took her a while to get comfortable with it. I’m happy to say that she has no difficulties with microwaves any longer, but if you ever get the chance, ask her about her experience using a VHS. Or was it the DVD player she fried? I love you, Mom, and if you’re reading this, I’m extremely proud of you for navigating your way through my website. 🙂

I’ve worked in offices where I’ve had to use different kinds of accounting software, and managed to master them with little effort. And at my last job, I was introduced to Excel spreadsheets. Wow. I could use a long-term class on those.

I’m a pretty quick study, but I get frustrated when things don’t work the way I think they should. I’m glad I have friends and family who know more than I do about all this fun technology. I know that it’s here to stay. One day, the things I think are complicated will be looked at as being just as silly as the working of a microwave oven was to me. Actually, I think my grandson already finds me a bit silly.

I have to admit that I’m glad I no longer have to use a typewriter to compose my novels. My laptop has made my life much easier. No more white-out. And no more ribbons to change. That was always fun. I’ll never forget my excitement when I got a self-correcting typewriter! And now, all I have to do is hit the delete key, or backspace until all my typo’s have left the page. Maybe technology isn’t so bad after all.

I’m happy to say that I just released my newest novel, “From the Ashes of Atlanta.” I hope you’ll check out my book tab and read all about it!

Thank you for keeping up with me. What would we do without the Internet?

From the Ashes of Atlanta

From the Ashes of Atlanta

 

 

 

Life Happens…

For those of you who follow my blog, I apologize that I’ve not been posting recently.

Many of you know that for the past four months, I’ve been a full-time caregiver for my mother-in-law. On July 3rd, she passed away. For several years she had battled Alzheimer’s disease, and the last month of her life was very difficult. I know there are many of you who have dealt with family members with this disease, so I’m sure you can understand how hard it was.

I’m happy to say that the decision we made to bring her home from the nursing home was a good one. The first three months, she made remarkable improvements. She gained weight, (liked my cooking!), and even though we were told by the nursing home that she would never walk again, we got her walking with the assistance of a walker. We saw her smile, and laugh. Something we hadn’t seen in a very long time.

It wasn’t always easy. There were nights that she was unable to sleep, and there were times she would try to get up and walk on her own, forgetting that she didn’t have the full use of her legs. So, we had to watch her constantly. But still…as hard as it was…I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

In her final week, she was no longer able to eat, drink, move, or speak. It was heart-breaking seeing her that way.  Hospice helped us through the final week of her life, and I’m grateful for their love and gentleness with her. I believe in my heart that she is now in a much better place, and no longer suffering with confusion and inabilities.

Strangely enough, I finished writing my newest book, “Forgotten,” the day before she died. I know that whenever I re-read it, I will be reminded of where I was, who I was with, and what I was doing while writing it. A part of her will always be in the pages.

Thank you, Mama, for your love and inspiration…

The last photo I took of Mama

The last photo I took of Mama

Learning From Others

My grandfather used to say “I’m no spring chicken.” He also used to tell me that he probably wouldn’t be on this earth much longer. The first time he told me that I believe I was about ten years old. He was 60, and lived to be 101.  Oops!  I’m telling my age now!239140774108_0_BG

I was blessed that he lived a long life because I learned a lot from him. Not long ago when we were moving, I came across some old cassette tapes that he made for me. Instead of letters, he would record cassettes and send them from Illinois to my home in Idaho. Hearing his voice always cheered me, and his tapes were full of wisdom and humor. When I found the long-forgotten cassette and put it in my archaic tape player, I cried like a baby. Not only was his voice on the recording, but my grandmother also made a reluctant “appearance” on the tape.

I wish now that I had recorded all the information he told me when we traveled across Illinois and he showed me where he grew up and stories of how his family came to America. My love for history makes me wish I had the foresight to at least take notes.

Lesson learned. Pay attention. Take notes. Learn what you can from people who have lived and done things you’ve never done before.

That applies to my journey now.

Years back when I was performing in a summer theater group, I met an incredible tenor by the name of Robert McPherson. If you get a chance, go out to you tube and pull up his rendition of the National Anthem. Amazing… Anyway, I told him once that when I heard him sing, I wondered why I even tried. He sings effortlessly, and beautifully. His response to me was something like, “Don’t discount your own talent. Everyone has something to offer.”  So, I kept singing too.

And now, I can apply that same wisdom to my writing venture. I wrote previously about the “Self-Doubt Monster” and this ties into that. Every writer is unique. We all have different voices and different stories to tell. Don’t discount your own talent.

When I first joined Music City Romance Writers, I remember being in awe of the published writers in our group. I still am. I also remember the first time I asked Trish Milburn to sign a copy of one of her books for me. I was nervous asking, but she graciously signed, and has never been out of reach as a fellow writer. In fact, I’ve not met one person in our group who looks down their nose at anyone. If anything, it’s just the opposite. They embrace new writers and willingly pass on their knowledge and share their writing journey.

It’s a pleasure to be a part of a group that lift each other up instead of back-biting and trying to climb over one another. Unlike some jobs where people can viciously try to claw their way to the top, we are helping each other get there, and rejoicing when someone has success.

I hope that I can be encouraging to new writers and that all the things I’m learning can be passed on.

Write on!MCRW Natchez Trace 2013 018