Haunted Dollhouse

Get ready, it’s almost here!

Check out this haunted dollhouse.


Trick or Treat!  We’re waiting for you…


My friend (to your right) dieted a little too much this year.


Candy anyone?

head on shoulders 2

Yes, I’m talking to you little girl.


Please don’t step on the flowers!



Pick a room and spend the night with us.


How about a little treat?


Have you been “Booed?”  This is fun!  Our daughter and her family were “Booed” for the first time last year.  This involves making up gift bags, placing them at the doors of friends/neighbors with a note attached, ringing the doorbell and running! There are lots of fun things for Halloween already on sale, be creative and conjure up some fun.  You can use candy, but we preferred not to use edibles. My grandson and I packed little bags with Halloween projects for three families in his neighborhood.  When it started to get dark, he did the running and we strolled along behind him.

For details go to http://www.beenbooed.com/ for details.

Woohoo…….what fun.



This is a great time of year to tell stories and read.

Hot cider, donuts, a big fuzzy blanket, and a good book are the ingredients for the perfect Halloween potion.

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Autumn Approaches

back to schoolThe days are shortening, the leaves are starting to turn color, and anticipation grows for parents and children alike for the first day of school.

Stores are crowded with tired parents and children stressing about choosing cool clothes to make them fit in.  New school supplies are a thrill at any age.  I bought a new spiral notebook this year just to feel like part of the game.  school supplies

Backpacks make a garden of color on Target and Walmart walls with the selection getting bigger every year.  How did we ever manage carrying multiple books on our hips?  And, how come boys never had as many books to carry as girls?


Covering our school books was one of my favorite tasks every year.  The kitchen table was piled with books, brown paper bags, and tape.  Being able to make a tight fitting book cover from a paper bag was a true skill and one to be proud off.  I remember the smell and the feel of the covers as I stacked the finished books.  In those days doodling on the book covers was an art form.  When your boyfriend’s name changed, you had to make a new book cover.

woven book cover

Look at this clever book cover…woo hoo!

Oh…the excitement of going to junior high.  You thought you would never adjust.  Just when you loved junior high the most, it was time to move on to senior high and even greater anxiety.

junior high

Stay-at-home moms will get to enjoy a few extra minutes of quiet time before trying to coordinate everyone’s new activities and starting the chauffeur game.   Working moms will look at their calendars in fear of having to work late and business trips that will take them away from the school activities they want to share with their children.

frantic mom

Do you think this mom is ready for school to start?

I wish you all happy times and please do not text or talk on the phone while driving your children.

Which is more important, the phone call, or your child’s life?  No brainer!


Fun Summer Read

This is the first time I have blogged about an adult book but I wanted to pass on an entertaining read that won’t depress you, address social issues, vampires or history we can’t change.  The book is called Pistol Fanny’s, Hank and Dililah, by Annie Rose Welch.  At first glance I thought it was a western and not for me…never judge a book by it’s cover!  I ventured into the first chapter which was okay, but then the second chapter showed the true creativity of this author.  I was hooked and hope you will be too.  I don’t do spoilers, but the following blurb will at least give you an idea about the story.  This is an entertaining book perfect for the beach or the pool.  Don’t forget the sunblock!


Never fall in love with a bank robber.

Especially if she’s the one who robbed your bank, took you hostage, and dumped you unconscious at the local convenience store. And definitely not if you are the assistant district attorney of Tupelo, Mississippi.

This is the advice Hank Huckleberry Rivers would have given himself, back when he was a man who vowed to always walk on the right side of the law. The same law that had seemed sacrosanct ever since the day he and his friends watched as two men were murdered right below their tree house.

 Falling in love with a dangerous criminal can have life-altering consequences, though. And when the past and the present meet head-on, Hank finds himself in more trouble than he ever bargained for. He must run to save his life, daring to find answers to the questions threatening his safety and his heart, as the killer below the tree house comes after Hank—and his pistol-wielding bank robber.

It’s a simple case of love in the first degree.

Wimberley, Texas may be “A Little Bit of Heaven” but that doesn’t mean they’re not vulnerable

to a gang of beautiful outlaws.

wimberly sign


About the Author

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Born and raised in New Orleans, Annie has a habit of shortening her words and telling long stories. She speaks with a southern flair and cooks with it too. At the tender age of twenty- one, she hitched up her wagons (took her first plane ride) and moved out west to the big shake (California). Her writing career began one sleepless night when she imagined a gorgeous woman and a man with maniacal hair floating above her like lightening bugs falling from the sky. Curious about them, their story, and why they were floating around in her head, she sat down and penned (typed) her first novel, Marigny Street. A dream

come true for her, she hasn’t stopped writing since. She loves a damn good love story, always has, no matter what the genre. She is particularly moved by imperfect love that in its own unique way is perfect, the notion of love at first sight, soul mates, and things that are generally out of the norm. When she’s not writing she enjoys dabbling in photography and finding new, inspirational music to add to her collection. Deciding on a whim to hitch up those same wagons, Annie currently resides in Texas (where everything is bigger) with her husband, daughter, and their two peculiar dogs, Boudreaux and Tabasco (who, call her crazy, bark with an accent).

For lagniappe (a little extra), a virtual cup of café au lait and beignets, please visit Annie’s website: http://www.annierosewelch.com

She can also be found on Facebook & Twitter.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnnieRoseWelch Twitter: https://twitter.com/angelwriter11

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7159582.Annie_Rose_Welch Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Annie-Rose-Welch/e/B00DQSYDTM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1



I’m late, I’m late…

whiterabbit“I’m late, I’m late…for a very important date!”  I’m right up there with the White Rabbit from Alice In Wonderland.  We’re both late; he for a very important date, and me for my blog.  How did it get to be Easter already?  Something happened…the calendar moves faster than I do.  I think it got away from me because there’s still snow on the ground and it’s freezing outside.  No excuses, Easter is just around the corner even if there is no sign of spring.


Oh gosh, what fun thinking of Easters past.  Palm Sunday kicked off the festivities when my older brother and I would anxiously accept our palm fronds at church and then whip each other with them on the way home from church…on bare legs those babies hurt!  I know, not the intended purpose.  You’ll be happy to know we did eventually make little crosses tied with string out of pieces of frond, and hung them above our beds until they dried and turned yellow.



Not my family but so close it’s scary!

Mom always went overboard dressing four kids, stem-to-stern, in Easter finery.  She didn’t go to the same church and there was no way her kids were going to embarrass her.  The boys got new sport coats, shirts, trousers, and clip-on bow ties that never stayed straight.  The sport coats were outgrown before the second wearing and the bow ties would surface years later in some obscure place.  We girls got pretty dresses, patent leather shoes with little matching purses, pristine white socks that stretched out around the ankle, white gloves that made my hands hot, and the dreaded “Easter bonnet.”  If mom was especially energetic she would give me a “Toni” home permanent that she always said made me beautiful, she only said that to stop the tears.  The only good thing about the “Easter bonnet” was it helped hid the corkscrews of my damaged hair.  Did you ever hear of a duster? That’s what Mom called the light-weight coat that topped the Easter ensemble when the weather was not cooperating…like this year.  Dressing us up made Mom happy.  Getting us out of church without a mishap made Dad happy. Coloring eggs and Easter baskets filled with candy made us kids happy.  What was the Easter Bunny thinking giving four kids that much candy?  We were jumping beans on steroids!

easter baby

The really big deal at Easter was colored chicks.  Yup, I’m from the age when this was very popular along with buying baby bunnies.  I don’t recommend either of these practices today, but it was exciting then.


I don’t remember our chicks ever being this brightly colored.

Whoa…fluorescent chicks!

It was a yearly challenge among the neighborhood kids to see whose colored chicks would live the longest.  I’m pretty sure my brother won because he always made a chicken brooder from a cardboard box with light bulbs and lined with newspaper for sanitary purposes.  Jar lids were used for chicken feed and water through which the chicks insisted on walking and doing unmentionable things.  Each year the brooder got bigger, more elaborate and finally evolving into a scientific masterpiece of metal and Plexiglas.  We’d carefully lower the baby chicks into the box and hope for the best.  Did you ever smell a heated box with a dozen baby chicks after a few days?   I can still smell it!  Even our best attempts usually didn’t work.  However, one year we succeeded, and Roy (named after Roy Rogers of course) grew to maturity. The surprise was that “Roy” developed into a black hen and not a rooster.  Who knew?  We sure didn’t know how to tell the difference between male and female chicks…still don’t.  I was disappointed that Roy lost her artificial color and turned black.  We would hear Roy squawking excitedly and race to his miniature chicken coop (converted dog house with chicken wire around it) at the end of the yard just in time to scare away some unknown predator.  You guessed it, one of those curious critters finally did-in old Roy.  Roy actually laid a few eggs for us before his final race around the coop.

Times certainly have changed,

but certain traditions such as coloring eggs will live forever.

easter eggs

I wish you and your family a joyous Easter with or without chicks!

easter blessing

Share your Easter memories by clicking on “Leave a comment,” top left, under the date.

Treat a child to a hours of enjoyment with a book.

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Available at Amazon.com or ordered from your local book store.

Turkey Talk…

The Flying Turkey

Yes, I know turkeys do fly, but not like this one.  A little background is needed to understand our flying turkey.  My dad was a tall man, 6 feet 4 inches, large boned, but never overweight.  While serving as a B29 gunner in the United States Air Force during World War II, because of his height, he often lifted propellers on and off planes from a scaffold like stand.  Being tall does have advantages but also disadvantages; the repeated strain resulted in a stomach injury which was repaired by removing most of his stomach.  Yes, today this would be comparable to stomach surgery for obesity…certainly nothing he ever needed.  Anyway, Dad was hungry all the time, ate frequently, and never gained an ounce.  With four kids and his insatiable appetite, he took over the majority of the cooking at home so there was always plenty to eat. He became a master on the charcoal grill and loved cooking for holidays.  To Dad, the word “holiday” equated BIG turkey dinner.  He refused to consider a turkey that weighed less than 25 pounds and thirty pounds was his preferred size…lots of leftovers.  Everything he cooked was done super-sized and leftovers were fine with us, except for the macaroni salad that he made in a large, electric roaster pan. Now this did get old and to this day I have to think twice when my husband requests it.  Dad’s was the best though!

Not only was my dad known for his large size, he was also known for his large Irish temper (he was born on Saint Patrick’s Day).  His temper was lightning fast and peppered with expletives which Mom abhorred.  We kids would walk around him cautiously for hours after an explosion until one day he asked what was wrong.  When explained, he was amazed that we were still upset because he had forgotten the incident almost immediately.

We lived in a large house with a back staircase that came down to a hallway at the back of the house. We used the back more than the front staircase because the hallway led from the kitchen to the laundry room and a small TV room.  One Thanksgiving I was walking from the TV room to the kitchen as Dad was checking the turkey in the oven.  Just as I got to the kitchen doorway he was pulling the oven rack, with the monstrous turkey in the pan, out of the oven.  In the blink of an eye, the turkey was out of the pan and sliding across the kitchen floor.  The kitchen was approximately 16 feet square and that bird slid the whole way across the kitchen and hit the opposite wall.  I froze waiting for the inevitable explosion from Dad.  To this day, I’m still surprised at his reaction.   Looking up from his bent position over the empty pan he said, “did you see that?”  He was as surprised as I was. He had overcompensated because of the size of the turkey and pulled the oven rack so hard the turkey took flight.

I don’t remember any further conversation. We flew into action, retrieved the turkey, washed it off, returned it to the oven, and then scrubbed the floor.  “Don’t tell anyone,” was his only admonishment.  Who was I to disagree because there was no where we were going to get another turkey in those days when all stores were closed on holidays. As the turkey cooked and the mouth-watering smell permeated the house the family and guests started to arrive.  I remember setting the long dining room table for dinner and wondering what anyone would say if they knew.  All through the meal people complimented Dad on his delicious turkey. He would graciously accept the compliment, then look at me and wink.  The dining room table seemed a mile long that day.  I don’t remember when we told Mom and my siblings, and I don’t know if they remember but I do.  It was the best Thanksgiving ever because it was our special secret.  No one got sick and we laughed about it for years. Moral of the story, be careful when checking the bird!



When I was in second or third grade, can’t remember which, my Mom was our Brownie Troop Leader. I’m not really sure, but I think she took the job because no one else would.  Mom could sew, knit, and bake the best pies and cookies, but she was not really a crafter and you’ll see why. This is an easy project and I still love it, but at the time I questioned my mother’s sanity. She had us chew bubble gum and then use that in place of the clay I suggest here.

For each turkey you will need:

One round pine cone. Any size will do because turkeys come in all sizes.

One hunk of clay approximately the size of a large walnut. Color doesn’t matter.

One 12-inch, red chenille stem (pipe cleaner to those of us over 40, okay 50).

One or two paper cupcake liners. The larger the pine cone the more you need. Color doesn’t matter.

Directions: Roll the clay into a ball and then flatten slightly on a flat surface. This is the base to hold your turkey.

Shape the chenille stem into a circle and twist the ends together tightly. Pull the twisted ends in between the pedals at the larger end of the pine cone. Twist the circle tightly at the opposite side of the pine cone for what will be the turkey’s neck. Shape the remaining pipe cleaner to look like the head and wattle of a turkey. Now don’t get crazy this is not fine art, just do the best you can. Stick the pine cone into the clay.

Fold the cupcake liners in half and position them in the pine cone pedals at the opposite end from the turkey’s head for his tail feathers. If you like you can use crayons to color feathers on the cupcake papers, leave them blank, or write the names of your guests on the tails and use them as place markers on your Thanksgiving table. This is a crazy, old-fashioned, fun project but my grandchildren think the turkeys are the greatest!

Busy Mommy Tip: If your children are old enough to get toys out of the toy box or wherever you keep them, they’re old enough to put them away when they’re finished playing. Start good habits early. It makes life much easier in the long run.

Food For Thought: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl. I highly recommend this book for teens.

Keep sending those entries to the Readers’ Contest digitalbookcoverupdated (2)

Enter to win a free copy of Emerson’s Attic, The Blue Velvet. Place your name and mailing address in the comment section at the bottom of the page and submit it to me. Ten lucky people will receive a copy of the book mailed to their home. Last day to enter will be Tuesday, December 9th. Winners’ names will be drawn on December 10th and announced in the following blog. Don’t just enter because you like free things, upcoming contests will be based on questions from the book. If you don’t win you can still enter future contests by ordering your own copy from amazon.com and reading it.

Reminder:  Friday November 21st, I’m doing an author blog interview on the http://hauntedorchid.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default. Orchid does a great job reviewing books and her blog site is a feast for the eyes. Little play on the Thanksgiving theme there…feast…get it?  Book review blogs are great for finding appropriate reading for your entire family.

 House for Sale

The Rosedawn Plantation – designed and constructed by the Lawbre Company is a magnificent statement in the Antebellum Southern Classical Greek Revival tradition. The Rosedawn contains three floors with twelve rooms and measures 55″ Wide x 26″ Deep x 37″ High.  The Rosedawn is the ultimate in dollhouses and the perfect gift for daughter or granddaughter. Visit Lawbre.com to appreciate their craftsmanship.

The Rosedawn, completely electrified and all but one room meticulously decorated, is being offered for sale to the highest bidder (over the owner’s pre-determined minimum) with or without the existing furniture.  If you want a superior quality dollhouse and don’t have the time or interest in doing the detail work, this is the house for you.  If you are a miniature enthusiast you will recognize the quality of this house and an opportunity you don’t want to miss.

The house is located in the Maryland suburbs outside Washington DC  and is large and significantly heavy.  The successful bidder will be responsible for picking up the house or arranging for packing and shipping.  The original shipping crate is available.

Please send bids to me with your contact information and I will forward them to the owner for consideration.  Christmas is just around the corner…don’t delay.

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