Ever Been on A Road Trip From Hell?

I never had such a road trip until the last two weeks.  The first day out, we made it to Gallup, New Mexico relatively unscathed.  The next day, sustained 55 mph winds with 75-86 mph gusts derailed our plans, nearly derailed our fifth wheel, and  put us a day behind, not to mention destroying  a window in the trailer. After a pickup truck and trailer were flipped over ahead of us by the wind, we pulled off in Flagstaff, the wind was way to scary to continue.

The next day we made it to Las Vegas where hubby attended  ConEx, a construction conference.  At the trailer, I did a final check on A Warlock’s Secrets and sent it back to my editor.  Should have a release date soon. A reveal of the swoon worthy cover and exciting blurb are on the horizon!  I can’t wait for you to read it!  We played  tourist with friends, local to Las Vegas, visiting the dancing fountains of the Bellagio and attending a performance of the Cirque Du Soleil show KA. Fantastic show! After we finished up in Vegas, it was on to California and disaster struck again.

As we headed down the highway, passing through Bakersfield,  a trucker pulled along side us and waved —  pointing to our trailer.  We pulled off at the next exit to find smoke rolling out from behind the right front wheel of our trailer. Thank God for truckers.  Upon further examination the bearing had failed and melted to the axle.  Now these bearings had less than five-hundred miles on them.  It was  Friday at 5:00 p.m., all the parts places were closed, so we limped our trailer on three wheels to A Country RV Park approximately 2.8 miles away.  What luck to find one so close! We couldn’t have asked for a better place.  The staff were friendly and very helpful!

Saturday morning bright and early hubby started calling RV Parts places. He learned that an axle needed to be ordered and would take a few days to arrive, since the warehouses wouldn’t open until Monday.  Being a glass half full type of guy, hubby went outside and re-inspected the damage, made a couple of phone calls and yanked out the trusty tools he always packs on our travels. After a visit to an RV parts place and several hundred dollars, he had the parts to fix the damage. Yea!!

Nope that was not all.  As my hubby began work on the axel, I received a phone call informing us a good friend had a heart attack and was being rushed to the hospital. My heart sank.  Back to the mechanical situation – a few bouts of expletives from hubby and four hours later we were on our way again.

Finally we arrived at our destination in California, visited a few days with relatives, and traveled on to Riverton, WY to meet up with friends, then home to Colorado without further complications.  The daffodils, crocus, hyacinth  and tulips in our yard are bravely poking their sprouts  above ground.  Spring is here along with it a lot more camping adventures (as soon as we get a new window). FYI, our friend survived her heart attack and is on the road to recovery! So as they say, (never figured out who they are… but…) all’s well that ends well. Thankfully! Have you ever had a road trip like this?


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It’s Here Again, the PPLD Mountain of Authors!

Yippee!!!!! My first book signing of 2017 happens at Pikes Peak Library District’s Mountain of Authors, April 8th, 2017 at Library 21C, 1175 Chapel Hills Drive, Colorado Springs, CO.  For more information click on the logo to the left and for directions to Library 21C click on “map it“.  After attending the Mountain of Author’s last year, I am thrilled to be invited back. I had a blast in 2016 talking with several of my favorite authors, Anne Hillerman and local author Nancy Atherton just to name a few.  If you have ever wanted to write a book or visit with your favorite local authors this is the place to be.  Have you been to the Library 21C?  It’s quite a wondrous place where the magic of imagination runs rampant, but quietly. LOL

This year Mark Lee Gardner, Pikes Peak regional historian, author, and musician is the keynote speaker. There will be two panel discussions one on historical authors and another group to answer the question “I Wrote a Book…Now What?”  Boy, that’s a question a lot of aspiring authors need answers to, so come on by, the fun starts at 11:00 a.m. Bring your friends and meet your favorite local authors. A fun time and chocolate will be had by all, I promise! 

I’ll be signing my books along with approximately thirty other Pikes Peak region authors from 4 to 5 p.m., please come by for a chat. Learn about my newest novel, A Warlock’s Secrets, to be released this spring, it’s the second in the Demon’s Witch series. Maybe even get a peek at the swoon worthy cover art.  Print copies of my books will be available, so what are you waiting for, mark it on your calendar right now in big red letters. You don’t want to miss it.

See you at the PPLD Mountain of Authors. If you are in the area, please stop by, I look forward to meeting and talking with all of you.

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Count Down Until the Spring Equinox!

Sure enough, according to scientists, astronomers and people that know these things, Spring Equinox will arrive at 6:29 a.m. EDT, on Monday, March 20, 2017.  You wouldn’t  know it here in the Colorado  Rockies there are still big wet snowflakes blanketing the tulips and daffodil plants that should know better than to stick their tender green sprouts above ground this early.

Did you know Vernal Equinox is another name given to the Spring Equinox  or called the  March Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. But in the Southern Hemisphere the March Equinox is referred to as the Autumnal Equinox. If that isn’t confusing enough, when September rolls around (I am in no way hurrying the seasons) the equinoxes are switched – the Northern Hemisphere experiencing an Autumnal Equinox and the Southern Hemisphere having their Vernal Equinox. What is the equinox you ask?  Well…the equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator.

Whether you call it Spring, March or Vernal Equinox, it brings a plethora of traditions and rituals including more sunlight hours, which makes me happy. I love to watch new life sprout after the dreary, brown last days of Winter.  Don’t you? Easter for Christians falls the first Sunday after the full moon subsequent to the Spring Equinox, which this year is April 16th.  Others celebrate the Spring Maiden or Goddess who watches over the emerging flora and fauna, a reminder of earth’s fertility.  Still others have traditional dances and hunts to celebrate the arrival of Spring.

Another sign of spring is the Crocus who is famous for bursting forth and blooming when it’s cold outside, even through a blanket of white snow! This brave little flower can help banish nightmares and generally infuse your dreamscapes with a cool serenity. Because Crocus reminds us of vibrant beauty even in the most wintry landscape, it’s also considered a harbinger and symbol or happiness. Saffron actually comes from the stigmas and styles of a variety of Crocus. Bet you didn’t know that!

As the snow melts, the thirsty ground sighs with relief soaking up the much needed moisture.  Hope springs eternal for the promise of warm sunlit days that awaken the budding flowers and bring spectacular color to our world.  Happy Spring everyone! Are the early spring flowers like Crocus, Tulips, Daffodils poking up through the ground yet at your house?

Do you have all your camping reservations set?  Yippie, I do.

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St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations & Irish Fun Facts!

Every year on March 17, the Irish & the Irish-at-heart across around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  The holiday started out as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland  but has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture.  From parades and yummy irish foods to dancing, and  green everywhere you look, its a party.

My hometown, Colorado Springs, welcomes Spring with its annual St Patrick’s Day Parade.The celebration started 33 years ago, and this year it grows bigger. Thousands of runners, hundreds of cyclists and dozens of dancing groups, celtic bands, marching bands, schools, charities, businesses, and more for this IRISH DOWNTOWN CELEBRATION. If you’re in the area on March 11, 2017, join the fun.  Be sure and wear your green!

Now, for the Saint Patrick’s Day fun facts!

#1 Did you know that we celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day on the day of the saint’s death, March 17th. He spent most his life converting pagans of Ireland to Christianity. His entrance to heaven was March 17, 461AD.

#2. How about this, St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish, nor was he born in Ireland. His parents were Roman citizens living in either England, Scotland or Wales, the scholars can’t agree which country, there’s something unusual, NOT.

#3. Here’s a shocker, Saint Patrick was a slave. He had the misfortune of being kidnapped at sixteen years old by Irish raiders. They sold him as a slave. For several years he herded sheep and learned about the Irish people. By age twenty-two, he’d escaped and made his way to a monastery in England.

#4. Ever wonder why the shamrock became part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations? Because, Saint Patrick used the shamrock to preach about trinity. Now whether it was supposed to represent faith, hope and love or the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, remains a mystery. However, St Patrick must have been quite the Ireland_(MODIS)inspirational speaker because Ireland’s pagan rulers at the time quickly converted to Christianity.

#5. Supposedly, St. Patrick drove all the snakes from Ireland. But I have to ask, if it was the reptiles “snakes” referred to or… a more figurative reference meaning pagan practices and their religious beliefs. I find it interesting to note that there isn’t any evidence that snakes, the reptile, ever existed in Ireland. Seems the weather is too cool for snakes to survive. This is all conjecture on my part, having never been to Ireland, but it’s on my bucket list!

#6. Everyone knows the color associated with St. Patrick’s Day is Green. Right? Not so fast. Originally the color blue represented St. Patrick. He was depicted in artwork wearing blue vestments. Also King Henry VII used the Irish harp in gold on a blue flag to represent the country. However, now days green is associated with Ireland, maybe due to the plentiful rainfall, creating the green countryside. Today, many refer to Ireland as the “Emerald Isle”.

irelandclover_m__83523.1372462367.1280.1280#7. Nope, the Shamrock is not the symbol of Ireland. Surprised you didn’t I? Actually, since the medieval period, the harp has represented the nation. King Henry VII as early as 1534 used the harp on coins. Later the harp appeared on Irish flags, and Irish coats of arms. DuringGreen_harp_flag_of_Ireland_17th_century.svg Ireland’s struggle for freedom, the Irish people used harps on flags during rebellions against England. In 1921, Ireland became an independent county and adopted the harp as the national symbol.

#8. Did you know there are more Irish in the United States than in Ireland? ‘Tis true. No blarney. They may not all be pure-blood Irish, but of Irish ancestry just the same. Mixed ancestry could be due to the troubled history of Ireland and millions of Irish left the county for the US during the potato famine in Ireland. This exodus continued through most of the 19th century until the economic boom of the 1990’s, when more Irish stayed in their native country rather than searching for better opportunities abroad.

saint_patrick_day_green_beer#9. What is your drink of choice on St. Patrick’sDay? A Shamrock milkshake? Green Beer? Bet you didn’t know that from 1903 to 1970, Irish law declared St. Patrick’s Day a religious holiday. That meant that all the pubs were shuttered for the day. In 1970 the law was overturned and St. Patrick’s became a national holiday, allowing the beer to flow once again.

#10. Bet you don’t know what the odds of finding a four-leaf clover are. I do, approximately 1 in 10,000. That’s way better than the lottery, but the luck of the four-leaf clover may flow your way.

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