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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

More on Cam Newton

It was fine and good for the great Vince Lombardi to say "show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser." Why is it not so cool for Cam Newton to say it?

So?! Yo! Anyone?? anyone care to answer me about this? I'm beyond all the bullshit about Cam Newton. It happened. He admitted he's human. His teammates support him. His coach supports him. TRUE fans remain loyal to him. Anyone out there who's NEVER made a mistake. NEVER shown their ass in public. Okay, you guys step forward and continue berating him. The rest of you? Just hush. It happened. It's over. It's done. Time to move on.

I love this video.

Love Cam Newton
Love The Carolina Panthers

I'm in the minority here in my loyalty to Cam Newton.
oh, well.
Loyal is, for sure, one thing I am.
And here's one thing Cam Newton said that I like a lot - " Like I say, before you assume anything, what makes your way right?"

Monday, February 8, 2016

Cam Newton


The Carolina Panthers lost the Super Bowl last night and I was sad.

But I was proud to see this - - - 

If you watched the pre-game show, you saw both these guys being interviewed.

Peyton Manning said some pretty cool things about Cam Newton.

When Newton heard what Peyton Manning had said, you could see his eyes light up.  

And he has said, more than once, how much he admires and respects Peyton Manning.  AND the game of football.

What's obvious is that this young man is an exuberant individual.  One who has feelings - and they run deep.

Was I disappointed in the Cam Newton I saw in the post game interview?

My heart hurt for him.

Do I think he'll come to regret his actions during this interview?


But I have to ask myself, and ask others, if you're Cam Newton, a man who has feelings often worn on his sleeve and possesses so much joy, wouldn't you think those deep feelings can go just as far and just as extreme in the other direction.

He was emotional, and what do a lot of us do when we're emotional?

Well.  Some of us cry.

Even if we're men.

Did Cam Newton want to cry on national TV in front of millions of people?

Of course not.  But that doesn't mean the tears weren't close.

Truth of the matter is - we just don't know.

The hype of any pre-game event for any sport is brutal.

Remember how many people hated Joe Namath for so long because of things he said before that Super Bowl against the Colts?  I do.

It's so easy to judge, isn' it?

But how many of you know that while Cam was having that interview he could hear Denver Brocos cornerback Chris Harris talking about their game plan and questioning Newton's ability to throw the ball.  

And, oh yeah - want to talk about Bill Romanowski calling Newton "boy" on Twitter?

Y'all.  Sports are brutal.  

And I'm sorry, but if you're a person with an ounce of sensitivity, it's gonna hurt.

I expect we'll see Cam Newton mature over the next few years.  And I can only hope it's not at the cost of his child-like joy in a game he loves.

But, you know - there are an awful lot of people out there who are going to enjoy trying to knock it out of him.

Sad, that.

If I'm anything, I'm loyal.  and I choose to stay loyal to The Carolina Panthers AND to Cam Newton.

I do have a few words I would love to say to Deion Sanders.  A guy who also had more than a few detractors when he was younger and less aware of his apparent newly found wisdom when it comes to how to handle these sorts of things  - -  Deion?  Hey, man - shut. up.  Give a brother a break, what say?  And maybe a little one-on-one advice rather than ragging on him in the media?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

"Oh, Kaye!" Day

First Sunday of the month - Yay!

And I get to play at Jungle Red wearing my "Oh, Kaye!" hat 

Today I'm talking about football, the Super Bowl, the Carolina Panthers.

and other stuff.

I hope you'll drop by -

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Belated Birthday Gift from my Mom

Today has been a day of gathering up little messy piles of "stuff"  that have accumulated around the house.  Sorting them and getting rid of some of them.

First thing that had to go was an old TV.  One of those great big heavy TVs.  It still worked but we  replaced it with a flat screen TV that was my mom's.

The old TV has been sitting on a table in the sunroom.  Just sitting there.  Looking ugly.  Until we just all but stopped noticing it.  That's when it's really bad - when you stop noticing it.  

Anyway - it's on its way to the women's shelter as we speak.  It and a few other things like unopened toiletries we've picked up in hotels.  Some canned goods.  Some linens.  Just stuff we don't need that someone else might be able to use.

And while doing this I finally found myself ready to tackle a box of stuff that I had put aside.

A box from my mom's.

There are still things in that box I'm not ready to go through - photo albums, etc.

But I found my birthday bag.

This silly little bag means the world to me and we have always treated it like it was a family heirloom.

Mother always put my birthday present in here.  I would open the present, fold the bag up nicely and return it to her.  And we would laugh and laugh that sometimes the bag was way more important than the gift itself.  We had reached the point where our birthday gifts were just teeny little remembrance kinds of things.  

I had told my friend Diane that I would take a picture of the bag this past November when my birthday rolled around, but I didn't.  I just wasn't ready to go to the box where I knew it was temporarily living.

But I pulled it out today so I could take that promised picture.

And there was something in there.


I have been a puddle since finding this.

I'm just going to let the pictures speak for themselves, other than to say, this past birthday wasn't going to be one of those silly little gift birthdays.  My mom bought me something very special.  And probably when next you see me, I'll be wearing this gift.  From now until forever.

Love you, Mama.  thank you.

miss you

Friday, February 5, 2016

Me, Charlaine Harris, Doc Watson and Jen Forbus - What do we all have in common?

Here's me reading Charlaine Harris' "Midnight Crossroad" to Doc Watson while he plays guitar for me. 

Read about it at my friend Jen Forbus's blog. Jen's Book Thoughts -

Doc Watson - "Just One of the People"by Alex Hallmark, Sculptor

This statue commemorates the Grammy Award-winning artist and Watauga County (Deep Gap) native Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson. It is located at the Northeast corner of North Depot and West King streets in downtown Boone, N.C and depicts Watson sitting on a bench, playing a model of his favorite guitar, a customized Gallagher.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The 2015 Agatha Nominees Are...

Here's this year's list of nominees.


I am amazed at all the talent on this list and SO proud to know so many of them personally.

My sincerest congratulations to each and every one.

Best Contemporary Novel

Annette Dashofy, Burned Bridges (Henery Press)
Margaret Maron, Long Upon the Land (Grand Central Publishing)
Catriona McPherson, The Child Garden (Midnight Ink)
Louise Penny, Nature of the Beast (Minotaur Books)
Hank Phillipi Ryan, What You See (Forge Books)

Best Historical Novel
Rhys Bowen, Malice at the Palace (Berkley)
Susanna Calkins, The Masque of a Murderer (Minotaur Books)
Laurie R. King, Dreaming Spies (Bantam)
Susan Elia Macneal, Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante (Banntam)
Victoria Thompson, Murder on Amsterdam Avenue (Berkley)

Best First Novel

Tessa Arlen, Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman (Minotaur Books)
Cindy Brown, Macdeath (Henery Press)
Ellen Byron, Plantation Shudders (Crooked Lane Books)
Julianne Holmes, Just Killing Time (Berkley)
Art Taylor, On the Road with Del and Louise (Henery Press)

Best Non-Fiction

Zack Dundas, The Great Detective: The Amazing Rise and Immortal Life of Sherlock Holmes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Martin Edwards, The Golden Age of Murder: The Mystery of the Writers Who Invented the Modern Detective Story    (HarperCollins)
Kathryn Harkup, A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie        (Bloomsbury USA)
Jane Ann Turzillo, Unsolved Murders and Disappearances in Northeast Ohio (Arcadia Publishing)
Kate White (Editor), Harlan Coben (Contributor) and Gillian Flynn (Contributor), The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die For (Quirk Books)

Best Short Story

Barb Goffman, “A Year Without Santa Claus?” (AHMM)
Edith Maxwell, “A Questionable Death” History& Mystery, Oh My (Mystery & Horror, LLC)
Terri Farley Moran, “A Killing at the Beausoleil” (EQMM)
Harriette Sackler, “Suffer the Poor” History& Mystery, Oh My (Mystery & Horror, LLC)
B.K. Stevens, “A Joy Forever” (AHMM)

Best Children’s/Young Adult

Blue Balliett, Pieces and Players (Scholastic Press)
Joelle Charbonneau, Need (HMH Books for Young Readers)
Amanda Flower, Andi Unstoppable (Zonderkidz)
Spencer Quinn, Woof (Scholastic Press)
B.K. Stevens, Fighting Chance: A Martial Arts Mystery (Poisoned Pen Press)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Another sad goodbye

Paul Kantner, a founding member of the Jefferson Airplane, died Thursday at the age of 74.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Five Years Ago on this Day

Five years ago on this very day I retired.

When my department chair and boss, Ozzie Ostwalt, asked if I wanted a party I said no.

When he said, "how 'bout just the department in the conference room with cookies?"  I said yes.

Cookies and a small group I could handle.


And some close friends came by also.

And Jack brought brand new baby Darcy!

And my buddy Don Barley came

And so did Alice, the very cool woman who replaced me as secretary in the Dept. of Philosophy and Religion

And it was a very happy day.
Well,  I admit to getting a teeny bit weepy when my former chair, Jesse Taylor, said some pretty nice things about our time together.

And, okay, so I got weepy again during the presentation of a very, very special gift.  (another story for another day)

The retirement was officially from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.

But the road to retirement was long.

Beginning with my first job at Whitey's Candy Store in Cambridge, MD when I was still in high school.

My friend Pam Mills (STILL one of my closest friends) and I worked together after school and on Saturdays.  We still share some laughs about those days.

The list grows -

Airpax Electronics during the summer before going off to college.

A 7/11 store back in Cambridge after leaving Brandywine College in Wilmington, DE for some of THE most ridiculous reasons ever.  (and I'm still waiting for that last and final paycheck from the 7/11, by the way).

Aberdeen Proving Ground, Aberdeen,MD (Aberdeen was where was dad was raised. I had a lot of relatives here and this was a fun time.  I met husband #1 here.  Another story for another day)

Delta Airlines, Atlanta, GA (where I was sent home several times to put on a longer dress.  Pants or pantsuits were not allowed.  It was 1968 - dresses were short when bought for God's sake.  I was also "asked" to take my 2 weeks vacation when I was going through a divorce to help keep down "the talk."  Delta and I did not get along well.  Another story for another day)

Southern Airways, Atlanta, GA (I loved loved loved working at Southern Airways.  I also met husband #2 here.  Another story for another day)

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta,GA (lots of stories for another day) 

Trust Company Bank, Atlanta, GA (lots of stories for another day, but it was fun to just walk out of here one day and never go back and never look back)

BMW of North America, Atlanta, GA (oh my - lots more stories for another day)

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA (went right back to the office I had worked in years before and felt like I had never left.  And this when I met Donald Barley).

Georgia Tech Research Institute, Atlanta, GA  (my favorite job ever.  I still love so many of the people I worked with and for and have kept them close.  More stories for another day).

Appalachian State University, Boone, NC (Final job.  Suffice to say, I was ready to leave when I left.  ASU changed a great deal during the 14 years I worked there. I have some great memories and some that are not so great.  I was blessed with great bosses though who will remain life-long friends)

Scattered through all these "real" jobs were many part time jobs I needed to work during some rough patches.  Most were evening jobs.  Some were late night jobs.

I worked sales in jewelry at Bailey, Banks & Biddle and at Macy's Department Store.  I worked for a construction company in a trailer at nights at the Atlanta Airport while new runways were being built.   I was a hostess/cocktail waitress at The Atlanta City Club.  Served up fried chicken at the take-out window at a restaurant in the "new" Atlanta Hilton Hotel while wearing an ugly and ridiculous short little plaid dress with puffy sleeves.  (I was written up at this job a dozen times for various infractions.  Another story for another day).  

So, yes.

When I was able to take early retirement, I did not hesitate.

Financially not as rewarding as it would have been had I waited until now, but - you know?  So.  What.

I have never had a lot of money.  Never will.

But, there hasn't really been anything I've wanted that I haven't, sooner or later and with hard work, been able to have.  Well.  Not true - there's that beach house . . . 

There certainly hasn't been anything I really needed like a roof over my head or enough to eat that I've had to do without.

There are many, sadly, who cannot say that.

And they've worked, in many cases, a whole hell of a lot harder than I ever have.


Honestly,  this time of my life has been my happiest.

I am, right now, at my most content, and my most creative.

Since retiring I've had essays published in two regional anthologies, and reprinted in regional magazines, one short story published in a regional anthology, a short story published in Southern Writer's Magazine (and shortlisted as a top 10 finalist).  I've published a novel and helped Harley Barley write and publish his book.  And I'm still writing. 

I've joined the gym.  (okay - so I've been a little slack here lately . . . ).

I've taken a wealth of courses and classes, including photography which has become a bit of an obsession with me.  I can't seem to leave the house without my camera. Sometimes I can't even go from the upstairs to the downstairs without it.

I'm still picking up my knitting and stitching pieces from time to time and I'm prone to getting up at odd hours to put together a collage.

I'm spreading my wings which is exactly what I promised myself I would do when I retired.  And I'm doing a little bit of volunteer work.


Okay.  So yes - there is a downside or two, to be honest.

a couple things I've learned.

I'm a person who needs structure or I accomplish nothing.

I mean nothing.

Unless you can count hanging out with friends at Facebook all day.

So - there's that.  I really have to make myself be productive some days.

And yeah, the money part I will admit that has put a bit of a damper on getting to go to as many book conventions as I'd like.  I am going to Bouchercon in New Orleans this year and can hardly wait.  But that may be my last con for awhile.  

Donald will be looking at retirement soon and that travel money will be taking us on the road together.

So there are still adventures to be had.


Life is good.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Snow - Jan., 2016

Just some random shots I'll be posting during our snow

Using little reader gnome to gauge the snow

ruh roh - where'd he go?!

Those shots were taken Friday.

The following were taken on Saturday

Which was a perfect day for homemade soup 

and brownies!

and puzzles 

and naps!

and taking pictures of the snow from inside

And Sunday.

Sunday - a gorgeous blue sky day.