Author Webpage

Be sure to stop by my author page from time to time

In the meantime, while you're here, pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee or a cuppa tea, have a piece of pie and always feel free to speak your mind, and your heart, here at Meanderings and Muses.

Thursday, August 16, 2018


"I sing to the realists; people who accept it like it is."

R.I.P., Aretha - there will never be another you.

March 25, 1942 - August 16, 2018

Sunday, August 12, 2018

This Woman . . .

A lot of you knew my mom.

And for those of you who did not, here she is.

THE feistiest of little women with a flair for the dramatic.

Most of the jewelry y'all are looking at in the previous post belonged to her. 

A lot of it was given to her by Don Barley who tried to pick up in the jewelry gifting department after my dad died. 

Truth be told, if either of those men had given her a rock they had hot glued a few big rhinestones on, she would have loved it dearly, as much as she loved her two best guys. 

That said, she visited me in a dream last night. 

Hand on one hip. 

Cigarette in hand. 

Eyes snapping. 

And she said, "Kaye Alan, I hope I don't need to tell you not to sell my jewelry cheap. I still know where you live and I still know how to get here. AND, I am still your mother." 

That said, I have started taking pictures of necklaces, pendants and beads and have made a wee start that I'll be posting here at Meanderings and Muses soon.

And to those of you who have made purchases?

 Thank You. 

And I hope you'll think of me and Ms. Mary Hazel Messick Wilkinson, aka as "my mom" when you wear it.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

There comes a time . . .

We spend a lifetime collecting, and then the time comes to start letting some things (but not all things) go.

I decided it was time to go through my mom's jewelry.

We gave quite a bit away shortly after losing her  - -  to family members and to close friends.  And I think that would probably please her no end knowing that her "bling" was still getting out and about and having fun.

 While going through and choosing the pieces that I'm not ready to part with, I decided I may as well go through my own to see what I can set free.

Being a retired person who's happiest at home, I'm not in need of a lot of jewelry.  And a lot of jewelry is what I have here.  Both Mother's and my own.  We never saw anything sparkly that we didn't love.  

Just a couple of magpies - that's us.

And now, well, there's only so many pieces I can wear with my jammies while reading that I feel comfortable in . . .  


Time to part with some things.


Not so good. 




Artisan gallery.


Costume - both high end and low. 




Brooches and pins. 

By just posting this one picture of rings yesterday at Facebook, I realized they can move pretty fast.

I have a small stack of boxes set aside to go to the post office next week.


Here are a few pictures.

If you see anything here that interests you, send me a Facebook message or email me - barleykw  @  appstate  .  edu  and I'll tell you a little about it and do a bit of Google research to come up with a price

Rings for a starter - sizes 4 to 11.  My mom and I never believed in that "ring finger" thing.  If you've got a finger, it's suitable for a ring.

Ring Update - these are still for sale. Note: Nooooo those are not diamonds you see. CZs, crystals, white topaz, but no diamonds. Sorry . . .

Next up  -  earrings.

These on the wooden table are clip-ons or screw-ons.

More earrings - - 

these are for pierced ears.



Pins and Brooches.

Necklaces, pendants and beads.

There are several things shown here that are no longer available.  

I'm going to update the page, hopefully, today.

So, check back . . . 

And those of you who have bought things - Thank You!!


Monday, August 6, 2018

National Root Beer Float Day

Did you know today is National Root Beer Float Day?

So.  Let's go float a scoop of vanilla ice cream in an ice cold mug of frothy root beer.  It’s National Root Beer Float Day!
Also known as the “Black Cow,” the root beer float got its start in Colorado in a mining camp. Frank J. Wisner of Cripple Creek, Colorado, gets the credit for inventing the “Black Cow”  way back in August of 1893.
One night Wisner, owner of the Cripple Creek Cow Mountain Gold Mining Company, was staring out the window and thinking about the line of soda waters he was producing for the citizens of Cripple Creek when he came upon an idea.  The full moon that night shined on the snow-capped Cow Mountain and reminded him of a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  He hurried back to his bar and scooped a spoonful of ice cream into the children’s favorite flavor of soda, Myers Avenue Red Root Beer. After trying, he liked it and served it the very next day.  It was an immediate hit.
Wisner named the new creation, “Black Cow Mountain” but the local children shortened the name to “Black Cow”.
Since its inception, thousands of root beer floats have been enjoyed around the country each day.

Several by Don Barley, who may be the biggest 

Annabelle says, "Wow.  Want, please"

So, of course she got one too.  Sans the Root Beer.

There are also several recipes for "Adult Root Beer Floats"

Vanilla Vodka Root Beer Float - 
Scoop 2-3 scoops of vanilla ice cream into a glass. Fill halfway up with root beer.
Pour 1 shot of vanilla vodka (about 1.5 ounces) and then top with root beer to fill to the top of the glass.

Rum N’ Root Beer Float -

Vanilla Ice Cream
Root Beer
2 oz. Dark Rum
Fill a tall glass with several healthy scoops of vanilla ice cream, pour in the dark rum and top off (slowly as it foams up) with the root beer

And . . . 

my fave,

Rachel Ray's Root Beer Russian Float

2 shots vodka
2 shots Kahlua
1 shot heavy cream
6 to 8 ounces root beer
1 scoop coffee ice cream
Whipped cream, for garnish
Maraschino cherry, for garnish

Any Root Beer Float fans out there?  Or do you have a different fun drink you favor?

And how do these adult versions sound to you?  Donald said, "No Way!  Don't mess with a good thing!"

Annabelle says, "just give me the ice cream, please, and I'm a happy girl."

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Next Time

I'll know the names of all of the birds
and flowers, and not only that, I'll
tell you the name of the piano player
I'm hearing right now on the kitchen
radio, but I won't be in the kitchen,
I'll be walking a street in
New York or London, about
to enter a coffee shop where people
are reading or working on their
laptops. They'll look up and smile.
Next time I won't waste my heart
on anger; I won't care about
being right. I'll be willing to be
wrong about everything and to
concentrate on giving myself away.
Next time, I'll rush up to people I love,
look into their eyes, and kiss them, quick.
I'll give everyone a poem I didn't write,
one specially chosen for that person.
They'll hold it up and see a new
world. We'll sing the morning in,
and I will keep in touch with friends,
writing long letters when I wake from
a dream where they appear on the
Orient Express. "Meet me in Istanbul,"
I'll say, and they will.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

August Morning

It’s ripe, the melon
by our sink. Yellow,
bee-bitten, soft, it perfumes
the house too sweetly.
At five I wake, the air
mournful in its quiet.
y wife’s eyes swim calmly
under their lids, her mouth and jaw
relaxed, different.
What is happening in the silence
of this house? Curtains
hang heavily from their rods.
Ficus leaves tremble
at my footsteps. Yet
the colors outside are perfect--
orange geranium, blue lobelia.
I wander from room to room
like a man in a museum:
wife, children, books, flowers,
melon. Such still air. Soon
the mid-morning breeze will float in
like tepid water, then hot.
How do I start this day,
I who am unsure
of how my life has happened
or how to proceed
amid this warm and steady sweetness?

   By Albert Garcia

Saturday, July 28, 2018

From Inside My Book Fort - - - Tom Robbins' "Tibetan Peach Pie"

Welcome to the Book Fort!

Today Annabelle and I are reading an excerpt from a book written by another of our literary heroes.

Tom Robbins

LordAMercy, but I do adore Tom Robbins' work

And him - what a cutie!

I got to meet him, ever so briefly, and I can tell you his personality is huge and lovely and fills a room.

Here's a bit from his "Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life."

From  Internationally bestselling novelist and American icon Tom Robbins delivers the long awaited tale of his wild life and times, both at home and around the globe.

Tom Robbins’ warm, wise, and wonderfully weird novels—including Still Life With Woodpecker, Jitterbug Perfume, and Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates—provide an entryway into the frontier of his singular imagination. Madcap but sincere, pulsating with strong social and philosophical undercurrents, his irreverent classics have introduced countless readers to natural born hitchhiking cowgirls, born-again monkeys, a philosophizing can of beans, exiled royalty, and problematic redheads.
In Tibetan Peach Pie, Robbins turns that unparalleled literary sensibility inward, stitching together stories of his unconventional life, from his Appalachian childhood to his globetrotting adventures —told in his unique voice that combines the sweet and sly, the spiritual and earthy. The grandchild of Baptist preachers, Robbins would become over the course of half a century a poet-interruptus, an air force weatherman, a radio dj, an art-critic-turned-psychedelic-journeyman, a world-famous novelist, and a counter-culture hero, leading a life as unlikely, magical, and bizarre as those of his quixotic characters.
Robbins offers intimate snapshots of Appalachia during the Great Depression, the West Coast during the Sixties psychedelic revolution, international roving before homeland security monitored our travels, and New York publishing when it still relied on trees. Written with the big-hearted comedy and mesmerizing linguistic invention for which he is known, Tibetan Peach Pie is an invitation into the private world of a literary legend.

“Robbins continues to embody Zen coolness and bohemian charm.” (Booklist (starred review)"

“Memoir or not, the form suits Robbins’s digressive style, philosophical musings, and self-deprecating humor. Each piece stands on its own, but when read side by side they develop into a powerful argument about magic and the necessity of imaginative, interior worlds.” (Library Journal (starred review))

Tibetan Peach Pie is a late, welcome gift from a philosopher-novelist who continues to believe in the transformative qualities of ‘novelty, beauty, mischief and mirth’ - qualities apparent on every page of this lively, large-hearted book.” (Washington Post)

Tibetan Peach Pie is a gift to his fans, the story of a man who had the sense to follow where his imagination led… How lucky for his readers that we got to tag along for the ride.” (Seattle Times)


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Monday, July 23, 2018

Louise Penny's "Kingdom of the Blind"

Louise Penny's books always leave me with things to think about long after I have finished reading them. 

And always with at least one passage I want to share. 

From "Kingdom of the Blind," there's this: "There were few things more soothing, Jean-Guy thought, than hearing people you love talking softly in another room." 

This took me immediately back to my childhood remembering going to bed before my parents, going to sleep listening to them talking, often about what they were watching on TV. Sometimes laughing at what they were watching. 

Simple, uncomplicated. 


How much do I love Louise Penny's work?  I don't know enough words to tell you.

Note:  I received an advance copy of this novel from the publisher, but with no guarantee of a review by me in return.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

From Inside My Book Fort - "The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Welcome to the book fort!

Today we're reading Carlos Ruiz Zafon's "The Shadow of the Wind."

The first in his Cemetery of Forgotten Books series.

The fourth, and final, book, The Labyrinth of Spirits, will be released in September.

"Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the ‘cemetery of lost books’, a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print."
"Wonderous... masterful... The Shadow of the Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero." --Entertainment Weekly (Editor's Choice)

"One gorgeous read." --Stephen King

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

July 17, 2018

The day after trump stood on a stage committing treason - Yes. He. Did. - he's tweeting his usual bullshit about the fake news and how they're going crazy over the great meetings he had with NATO and Putin. 


 Um, Bubba? 

 It's treason you ugly ignoramus. 

 It's kinda something the American public (including the news media) isn't accustomed to.
The guy is, in my opinion, insane.


What about the Grand Old Party with their half-hearted rejection of this idiot? 

I'm sorry, but "shameful?" Doesn't get it. 

"The Russians are not our friends." Duh!!! 

"Deeply troubled." Yeah, boy howdy - me, too! 

"Missed opportunity." Only a fool would have expected this to be any different than it actually was.

How 'bout this.

Calling it what it was.


Now get your sorry white wrinkled asses moving and do something.

You are sworn to uphold the laws of this country.

To protect the citizens who voted for you (bless their hearts).

It's past time.

Do it.

And hey - you Democrats? You are not off the hook. Grow some spine, for god's sake.