Category Archives: General Thoughts

General thoughts and random ramblings

If We Were Having Coffee on the 12th of October, 2019


Hello and Welcome! Come on in and I’ll get you a large mug of very strong dark roast, a cuppa tea or other beverage. It is a little cool today and damp. Not raining, just wet. The photo at the top was taken just 5 minutes ago. Can you see how damp it is? Even though the photo is new, some of you may know that the stone wall is in New Hampshire, though I will be heading to Cape Cod this evening, so if you hit the share later, it will be down there.

It was a busy week. Work was very busy.

I finished what I consider the 2nd draft of The Old Mill.  I’ve been going back and rewriting small sections instead of my normal practice of letting it sit for a while.  Oh well, perhaps I can leave it alone this week…

Yesterday I found a nasty tick bite. I got a doctor’s appointment for 4:45. I left early, since, well, Friday rush hour… On a good day it is 40 minutes and in a non-snow situation as long as an hour (I’ve had a three hour drive in the snow….). I gave myself an hour. It took me 27 minutes. OK, I took a walk in Mine Falls Park in Nashua. It was pretty nice, and there were was a little color. Continue reading


The Weekly Smile for October 7, 2019


I am going to continue with my trend of small things, and perhaps odd things, this week….

We had a lot of tomatoes this year.  We also get a pretty good bounty from the Community Farm that we belong to (See here for a post about the CSA). The weather is getting cool, so I decided to make the year’s first chili using mostly fresh ingredients.

I chopped up a bunch of tomatoes and stewed them in a crock-pot while I soaked the beans. I added a clove of fresh garlic, a couple of onions peppers (Italian from our garden, chilies from the CSA), etc. After a day I put in the beans and started the spice routine. I added corn and celery and more veggies. A day later and it wasn’t there yet, but the next day it was perfection. Not my best chili ever, but better than most, and doubly good in that most of the ingredients were fresh picked before being tossed into the crock-pot – food the way it is meant to be ;) Continue reading

If We Were Having Coffee on the 5th of October, 2019

Coffee on Cape Cod

Hello and Welcome! Come on in and I’ll get you a nice large mug of a very strong dark roast (this week it is heavy on Italian Roast…), a cuppa tea or other beverage. It is sunny and beautiful outside, but a little chilly and windy. Not as windy as yesterday (sustained winds of over 20 mph/32 kph), but still noticeable. Oh, where are we? Some of you may recognize the photo at the top as being on Cape Cod, though it is the summer photo and I may need to switch back to winter mode soon!

It has been warmer than usual up until Thursday. Thursday the temperatures plunged to slightly below normal. The forecast had a cold week ahead, but it has changed so it will be closer to average for this time of year. Hopefully we will get some fall colors to go with the fall temperatures! Continue reading

Blast Off with Space Dust – Eloise De Sousa


(Today I have a special treat – Eloise De Sousa is having a blog tour for her children’s book, Space Dust. Take it away, Eloise!)

From the Elastic Limits, we now journey due east to a place that celebrates things that make you smile each week. Thank you Trent, for hosting us today.

With a hop and a skip, let’s discuss one of the trips Big Ox and Little One take in their special canoe, propelled by Big Ox’s absolute favourite spoon. The planet they visit has seven rings and, though they may be made of mere dust and gas, Little One discovers that Big Ox’s imagination goes beyond the sublime.

“What about sea horses swimming in creamy mushroom soup?
With spring onion beams for them to do some slippery loop-de-loops?”


I love sea horses! The delicious mix of alliteration in sea horses swimming on Saturn encouraged my crazy imagination to envision these little creatures frolicking around in creamy mushroom soup, performing spectacular, acrobatic feats with their spring onion rings. Drawing them was a challenge; trying to capture sea horses doing the loop-de-loop is not easy. After several attempts, I thought it best to call it a day and stick to my delectable dancers dallying about on a page designed to mimic the colours of Saturn with a creamy mushroom flavouring.

Whilst reading to the book to the older children at the Summer Reading Challenge, they stopped me to question the morals of putting sea horses on Saturn.

“That’s impossible!” one exclaimed. “Saturn doesn’t have any creatures living on it because it’s made from gases and rocks.”

True. I considered my options on answering that question, bearing in mind my audience and their age range. So, I took the same tactic as Big Ox. I replied. “That’s all true. But how do you know if you’ve never been there before?”

The child sat back to consider this, and I continued reading. Sometimes, it’s hard to believe in something you can’t see, let alone enjoy it. Little One struggles to see all the wondrous creatures they encounter on their adventure in space, very much like the child listening to my story. With all the coaxing Big Ox gives, Little One only budges after realising that Big Ox is starting to lose his belief because of Little One’s reluctance to engage in the use of imagination. It encourages Little One to try a little harder at imagining amazing things too. That is enough to bring a smile to Little One’s worried face, knowing that their shared belief can create a fantastic adventure for them both.

Space Dust goes beyond the obvious approach to solving Little One’s worries. Facts alone are not enough to get us through life’s worries. Having faith in those around you who try to help carry that burden of worries and transport you away from them, even for a little while, requires you to have a little faith and believe. Amazing things happen when you do!

Thank you for stopping by and finding out a bit more about this special story crafted for the local libraries to support their Summer Reading Challenge. Please click on the link below if you haven’t already ordered your copy of Space Dust.

Click here to order your copy of Space Dust.
Or here for US site

Do send in your pics and reviews of the book, or any of the others. I’d love to share them with the rest of the readers.

Here is a list of my children’s books available now:
new childrens book gif

If you would like to find out more about my books or about me, please click on any of the links below:

Author Page
Amazon //(US site)

Thank you for joining me. Tomorrow, we will be visiting Sally’s Café and Book Store. See you there!


Thank you, Eloise, for stopping by as part of your tour!

If We Were Having Coffee on the 28th of September, 2019

Coffee Share new Hampshire in the Summer

Hello and Welcome! Come on in and I’ll get you a nice, very strong, dark roast, a cuppa tea or other beverage. We can sit outside and enjoy the cool, but beautiful weather as we look up into the woods behind my house. It is supposed to get quite warm (for late September) today.Oh, where are we? Some of you may recognize this photo as being from New Hampshire.

It was a busy week at work. A lot is going on , as usual.

It was a warm week and I did get out a bit, though, of course, I worked. But I went running at least three day this week and walked the dogs every day, and played with the dogs, running like a lunatic up and down the wooded hill behind the house as I followed along with their games. Besides running, I also did my usual weight training exercises. Continue reading

If We Were Having Coffee on the 21st of September

Coffee Share new Hampshire in the Summer

Hello and Welcome! Come on in and I’ll get you a large mug of some very strong Dark Roast, a cuppa tea or other beverage. It is a beautiful day here and we might want to go out back and sit on the patio. Where are we, you are asking? Some may recognize the photo at the top as being from New Hampshire.

It was a weird week. I started off on Cape Cod. It was very nice and I had a great time. Back in NH the week started off with good mid-September weather, which was great since it felt like late-September for the last few weeks. But then it got pretty cool for a few days. Brr. Now it has warmed back up to early-September temps – it will be up to 85 F/30 C for three days in a row and then stay in the 70s for over a week after that. Odd, but nice that it will be well into October before I have to turn on the heat.

Work was busy, but I think I am getting stuff done. Continue reading

If We Were Having Coffee on the 14th of September, 2019

Hello and Welcome!  Come on in and I’ll get you a nice large mug of very strong Dark Roast, a cuppa tea or other beverage.  We’ll go out back. It is a little chilly, though warming, and windy, but the table is relatively shielded. Beautiful. Oh, where are we? Some of you may recognize the photo at the top as being on Cape Cod.

This week has felt like autumn, more like late September than early-to-mid-September.  Yes, we did have that one anomaly, a 90 F day in the middle of the week, but the exception just proved the rule, as it were.  Very odd.  It rained on Monday and Thursday and I rarely am so affected by the weather – I was really down and had zero energy. But the next day (Tuesday and Friday) the sunshine made me feel grand and full of energy. Continue reading

If We Were Having Coffee on the 7th of September, 2019

Coffee Share new Hampshire in the Summer

Hello and Welcome!  Come on in and I’ll get you a very strong dark roast, a cuppa tea or other beverage.  It’s a little nippy out, so a warm beverage will be good.  Nippy, but gorgeous – I woke up to rain, but it is now a beautiful autumn day.  Yeah the calendar says summer and there is only a little color in the trees, but it feels like fall.  Oh, and where are we?  Some my recognize that photo as being from New Hampshire.

I returned to reality, I mean work, this week,.  Ugh.  When can I retire? ;)  It wasn’t as bad as I feared, but I am still behind.

I did some of my normal walking and playing with the dogs – they wanted to play, not walk on most of our excursions.  I ran, exercised, had massage, ect.  A typical week. Continue reading

If We Were Having Coffee on the 31st of August, 2019

Hello and Welcome!  Come on in and I’ll get you a nice strong Dark Roast, a cuppa tea or other beverage.  It is a gorgeous day, pleasant, a slight breeze, mostly sunny.  Let’s go sit out back at the table in the photo at the top.  Where is it?  Some of you may know I am on Cape Cod.

This was my vacation week.  My parents typically visit the last week of August, but they had to back out this year.  I still kept the entire week off, my only full week off for the year.

It’s been a strange week.  The first part was too cool and windy to kayak or swim.  And then there was a day and half of rain.  But the last couple of days have been gorgeous.

I did get out on the kayak on Tuesday and then again yesterday for the longest paddle of the summer, perhaps the longest paddle in the last 5 or 6 years.  It was at least six miles and may have been as many as 9 miles.  It’s hard to tell with the map I used, so I’ll have to find a better one.  I’ve also been swimming a few times, have had a couple of long walks in the woods, etc.  I’ve been taking care of the dogs – a full time job ;)

I spent the rainy day on Wednesday going through The Old Mill.  I did something I’ve never done before.  Even though I added three chapters and deleted one, I called the end product the First Draft.  Despite these changes, it is still very rough.  In fact, those additions were the only things I really did to the work, so I added some rough chapters to the rough draft, keeping it a rough draft.

I had some excitement yesterday afternoon.  I was headed out to get gas and pick up a few things at the grocery store.  At the end of my street, waiting  to pull out onto the main road, a couple of police cars roared up and stopped almost across the street from me.  One went into the parking lot I thought I saw him pull out an assault weapon.  The other parked so he was blocking half of the lane of the road.  I pulled out behind stopped traffic as it started to move again, but didn’t make it far.  A fire engine and ambulance blew in.  I made it around the police car in the middle of the road and went up on the curb.  Another police car came in front of me, hopped the curb inches in front of me and parked in the sidewalk next to me!  A motorcycle cop zipped up and pulled in behind me.  I pulled away, but had to pull over two more times as police rushed to the scene.  I took a shortcut to the gas station and could hear sirens the entire time.  As I was getting gas, I could hear them coming up the main road in front of the gas station.  I was looking away from the road and saw a dirt bike rip through the back of the station at a high rate of speed.  He hit a bump and was airborne for several seconds, like a Hollywood stunt.  The police were going by in front of the station at that same time, so I knew the dirt bike was being chased.  More police cars ripping through.  When I got back home, they had an entire parking lot and road taped off.  Seeing later pictures, there was a car inside of the parking lot that was taped off as well, so behind two “layers” of tape.  I took a walk with the dogs as helicopters flew over, one shadowing me and the dogs as we walked….

I later discovered that the person in the car was shot and airlifted to Boston.  The dirtbike was the primary suspect.  He was on the run for a couple of hours going through several townships before loosing the pursuit.  They later found the bike and then found him.

Anyway, excitement for the week.

Today is a beautiful day.  I am going to run as soon as I post this.  I will kayak later in the morning (not 9 miles!) and go swimming in the afternoon, so I may not be around.

Thanks for stopping by!  I’ll try to hit some coffee shares later this weekend.

The Weekend Coffee share is hosted by Eclectic Ali .  This week’s share is here. and the link up is here.

Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Trent McDonald, @trentpmcd

I did an interview over on Colleen Chesebro’s blog. Go check it out:

Colleen M. Chesebro

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is conversations-with-colleen.png

Hello everyone! This week I’m happy to introduce Author and Poet, Trent McDonald. Trent is a regular participant in my weekly poetry challenge. I love how many authors write poetry too! Check out his poems HERE.

I asked him to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE. We all aspire to be successful authors and the best way to learn some of the tricks of the trade is to ask questions.

First, please meet my guest, Trent McDonald:

I never decided what I wanted to do when I grew up. I compose and play music, draw and paint, take a lot of pictures, and yes, I write. I’ve written a couple of books that are sitting on my shelf waiting to go out and I write a new short story almost every week, which I often post on my blog, I’ve collected some…

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