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“We all benefit from learning how to respond to grief in ways that don’t prolong, intensify or dismiss the pain. Likewise, those trying to help need to know that grief cannot be fit into a preordained time frame or form of expression. Too often people who experience a loss are disparaged because their mourning persists longer than others think reasonable or because they remain self-contained and seem not to mourn at all.” Jane L. Brody

In response to Brody’s article “Understanding Grief, and Living Through It.”

Wherever you are, whoever you are, whatever is happening in your life, find ways to add to your energy bank. Reading and writing add to mine. What a blessing.



The holidays have taken our minds away from our reading. Busy with friends and families and other year-end tasks our minds are awhirl. Only a very few (how’s that for redundancy) responded to a recent blog about their reading plans in the New Year.

Forced inside today by a Winter Weather Advisory I must face up to taking down my Christmas decorations. Seems a good time to give a shout-out of THANKS to my much-loved granddaughter who decorated my fireplace mantel with some of my Santa collection. How I have enjoyed what she put together. I know Santa is not the heart of Christmas, but I have always loved Santa art of almost any kind, the more frivolous the better. Somehow it lifts my spirits.

I confess at first I was slightly disappointed she did not do the mantel as she has the last two years, with some fake greenery and lights. Turns out I liked the Santa display even better. My pictures certainly don’t do her display justice. Those small porcelain Santas are antique, from my mother’s side of the family; they have said Merry Christmas to many people for more years than I can count.

Wishing each of you a good last day of 2017. Along with the-not-so-great and worse, there is much to be grateful for. Make a gratitude list and you will be reminded. Even as a way to fight the horrors of grief, a gratitude list is worthy ammunition. Hugs to all.

Happy New Year Wishes come along tomorrow.


1. Clean, easy-to-read graphics. These days many magazines are so full of pictures and crazy style print on different colors, the reader has difficulty figuring out what to read, and then, to actually read it. This magazine is a pleasant and inviting change.
2. Inviting content. Here are stories you want to read. And the content is varied. In this issue, e. g. decorating you home for the holidays, Christmas candy and brunch treats, a visit to Chip and Jo’s vacation rental, and a story about a husband and wife musical duo.

3. Tasteful ads, often from companies you want to know more about.
4. Articles are in-depth enough to give the reader information of general interest. I love the simple layout and feature on Festive Greens including how to work with them and how to care for them.
5. Photographs are first-rate and enticing. Whoopie Pies look wonderfully beautiful and delicious along with an easy-to-read recipe. I couldn’t stop staring at the Chocolate Bundt Cake. Photos truly transported me to the Hillcrest Estate in Waco Texas.

These are only selected highlights. There is so much more!

So far I love this publication! What about you?


Some photos by Jonathan Lein

I’m a prairie girl, I love the prairie; I feel the emotion of the prairies from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. And I am a writer who has written stories set on the prairies. I’ve been waiting to see this Prairie Preserve since my son and his wife moved to Oklahama. Oh I’d love to walk the trails. Not this time…next time.

This preserve in northeastern Oklahoma is the largest unplowed protected tract that remains of the tall grass prairie (39,650 acres), once 142 million acres stretching from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. To me this area is a national treasure. These are the vistas that greeted the first settlers in many states, including my great grandparents. I love to study the grasses and wildflowers of the area. On a cool November day, the place is not colorful but still calming and quiet. And the wide open vistas soothe my heart and soul.

At the visitor’s center I saw the big bluestem, switchgrass, little bluestem and Indian grass that are so prevalent on the prairies of the past and this preserve today. Burning helps to control invasive species.

On this day we saw the buffalo up close. They are impressive beasts.

What did my granddaughter like best about her trip to Pawhuska, Oklahoma? Not the kitchen toys at the Merc, though they were a hit. The buffalo were her favorite of the day.



So many blessings I am grateful for: visiting brother to help make side dishes for the feast, new grand baby I will soon travel to see and the baby’s father and mother and sister, daughter to host Thanksgiving, family to celebrate the day with, visiting son, my other grandchildren and more. Today I must make a gratitude list.

I pray that all of you are enjoying your Thanksgiving and all the items on your gratitude list.

A big THANK YOU to all who read this blog. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!