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.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Annabelle likes the snow

and this is the look she gives me when I try to make her come inside . . . 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Winter Grace

If you have seen the snow
under the lamppost
piled up like a white beaver hat on the picnic table
or somewhere slowly falling
into the brook
to be swallowed by water,
then you have seen beauty
and know it for its transience.
And if you have gone out in the snow
for only the pleasure
of walking barely protected
from the galaxies,
the flakes settling on your parka
like the dust from just-born stars,
the cold waking you
as if from long sleeping,
then you can understand
how, more often than not,
truth is found in silence,
how the natural world comes to you
if you go out to meet it,
its icy ditches filled with dead weeds,
its vacant birdhouses, and dens
full of the sleeping.
But this is the slowed down season
held fast by darkness
and if no one comes to keep you company
then keep watch over your own solitude.
In that stillness, you will learn
with your whole body
the significance of cold
and the night,
which is otherwise always eluding you.

“Winter Grace” by Patricia Fargnoli from Hallowed. © Tupelo Press, 2017

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Bill Crider - One of the best

I think it's fair to say that there isn't anyone in the mystery community as well loved and respected as Bill Crider. 

Yesterday he reached out to keep us all updated on his health.

December 5 - "Dear Facebook friends, tomorrow I enter home hospice care. It's only a matter of time before I won't be posting again, and as some of you have noticed, I haven't been posting much. I love you all and have valued your virtual friendship for a long time. I'm sorry to be leaving, but that's the way things go, sometimes."

And this at his blog - "Things could change, but I suspect this will be my final post on the blog. I met with some doctors at M. D. Anderson today, and they suggested that I enter hospice care. A few weeks, a few months is about all I have left. The blog has been a tremendous source of pleasure to me over the years, and I've made a lot of friends here. My only regret is that I have several unreviewed books, including Lawrence Block' fine new anthology, Alive in Shape and Color, and Max Allan Collins' latest collaboration with Mickey Spillane, The Last Stand, which is a collection of two novellas, "A Bullet for Satisfaction," an early Spillane manuscript with an interesting history, and "The Last Stand," the last thing that Spillane completed. It saddens me to think of all the great books by many writers that I'll never read. But I've had a great life, and my readers have been a big part of it. Much love to you all."

His news was met with hearts breaking and tears shed by people who knew him well, and people who may not  have known him well, but were touched  by him in some way over the years.

People are posting stories about him.


Sharing remembrances.

We all love Bill Crider.

I immediately went to my Meanderings and Muses archives to pull out pieces Bill wrote for me over the years.

I share them with you here.

He has always been one of the most generous of souls.  You would be hard-pressed to find a single word Bill Crider wrote in praise of himself, but you'll find plenty of words in which he's praising and supporting and helping others.  Including me and Meanderings and Muses.

When Bill first shared the news of his cancer, I wrote this.

Bill Crider - if you're reading this; I love you to the moon and back, dear man.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sister Cat by Frances Mayes

Cat stands at the fridge,
Cries loudly for milk.
But I've filled her bowl.
Wild cat, I say, Sister,
Look, you have milk.
I clink my fingernail
Against the rim. Milk.
With down and liver,
A word I know she hears.
Her sad miaow. She runs
To me. She dips
In her whiskers but
Doesn't drink. As sometimes
I want the light on
When it is on. Or when
I saw the woman walking
toward my house and
I thought there's Frances.
Then looked in the car mirror
To be sure. She stalks
The room. She wants. Milk
Beyond milk. World beyond
This one, she cries.
—Frances Mayes

Friday, December 1, 2017

'Oh, Kaye!" saying "Toodle Loo!"

I hope you'll drop by Jungle Reds today and read the interview Hallie and I did -

You won't be seeing me at Jungle Red every month any longer, but I'll still be right here at Meanderings and Muses.

I'm not saying a sad good-bye, I'm really only saying "See you later."  Think of me as being in the next room.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Net Neutrality - It's a very big deal

If you're here reading this I have to assume you enjoy Meanderings and Muses.

Probably along with a few other blogs you check out from time to time.

Sadly, all our blog browsing could change.


Some days I love Facebook. 

Most days, actually. 

Some days it makes me sad and pissy. 

I "want" to know what stupid and dangerous thing the orange asshole has done. It doesn't mean the anxiety I feel while reading it decreases. 

I "want" to know what powerful man has lost his job, his self-respect and that of his children (I'm guessing the wife probably already knew). It doesn't mean I find any joy in it. 

I don't really care that some people are upset that Meghan Markle may or may not have left one dog behind in the US and took another with her to Great Britain. Maybe the dog said he didn't want to go. I don't really care that Meghan Markle may have said "lay" instead of "lie." What's worse - the person who may have made a grammatical error or the person who publicly corrects them? (And yes - I have had it happen to me, and no I probably won't forgive or forget - tha's just the bitch I am). 


Today Facebook has made me pissy. 

I know, I know - many of you hate my political posts. Maybe you're sick to death of pictures of Annabelle. Or my new obsession with Paris. Maybe you're uninterested in art.  Maybe you hate poetry.  This is why you have a scroll button and a delete button.  But remember - there "are" some people who are interested in these things.

You know - we're all kind of stuck with one another to some extent through the good and bad and I'm happy to have Facebook, even on the bad days. For as long as that might be - knowing full well that the internet as we know it today could be gone before long. 

Have you done your part to have your voice heard? More than 807,000 people have. And it only took them about two minutes. 

If you're not one of those 807,000 + people, think about going here and typing 17-108 in the "proceedings" box. -

Easy Peasy. 'cause otherwise, we may not have Facebook, or our favorite blogs, to complain on, or about, for a whole lot longer.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

It's beginning to look a little like Christmas

We may be small, but we'll try to never be boring

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Everything you love about the internet could soon change - Act Now!




Restoring Internet Freedom (17-108) 

If you wish to file comments regarding the FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom proceeding, you may submit a public comment by going to

Enter the number 17-108 in the first field, which is called Proceeding. 

On the same screen, you can type your comment and submit it to the FCC. Your comment will be part of the FCC's official record in this proceeding."


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Dinner

In the past, Thanksgiving has always been a dinner that my mom and I would share responsibilities for.

She would cook the turkey and dressing at her place.  Donald would pick her up and bring her to our place where I'd be putting together the side dishes.

It worked like clock work for years and years.

Then.  All of a sudden Thanksgiving rolled around and my mom wasn't here any longer.

So, Donald and I went out for dinner on Thanksgiving Day.  

Of course it wasn't the same.  

Not only was my mom not with us, but the dressing was cornbread dressing.

Not to throw shade on cornbread dressing, but that's just not what Donald and I grew up with and we've never acquired the taste for it that enables us to appreciate it like a lot of people in the south do.

One year when we went to Cracker Barrel for Thanksgiving, I ended up ordering breakfast instead of their turkey dinner which included cornbread dressing.

It was good - -  but . . . 

And the leftovers.  We missed having that open faced turkey sandwich with gravy the next day.

Sooooo good, plus all the work had already been done and it was an easy peasy meal.  Delish!


This year I'm cooking Thanksgiving Dinner.

Thanks to Facebook.

I ran across this recipe and was immediately intrigued.

Slow Cooker Maple Herb Butter Turkey Breast with Apple Cider Glaze.

Oh.  My.

Maple - Yay!

Herb Butter - Yay!

Apple Cider Glaze - Yay!

and in a slow cooker?!  - Yay!!

Gotta try it.

Here's the link:

Serves: 5-7
For the Turkey
  • 1 (5-7 lb) bone-in turkey breast, thawed and patted dry with paper towels
  • ¼ C butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp maple extract
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp sage
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 C chicken broth
  • ½ C onion, sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 3 ribs celery, rinsed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
For the Glaze
  • 2 C apple cider
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
  1. In a small saucepan, combine apple cider and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce to medium-low and allow to simmer until reduced to about ¾ cup or a little less than half. Remove from heat, stir in salt and pepper, and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together garlic powder, thyme, basil, sage, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a separate small bowl, stir together softened butter, maple syrup, maple extract, and half of herb mixture.
  4. Spread herb butter underneath the skin of turkey breast. (You can use a spoon to get to the edges and spread it around with your hand on the top of the skin.) Sprinkle remaining herb mixture over the top.
  5. Pour chicken broth into a 6 quart slow cooker. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic cloves. Place turkey breast on top.
  6. Cook for 6-8 hours on low or until internal temperature at the thickest part of the breast reaches 165 degrees F. Two hours before the turkey is done, brush the apple glaze over the top and sides of the turkey breast every 30 minutes. You can check the temperature of the meat at 4 hours to see if the turkey breast will be done at 6 hours or closer to 8 hours. (If you find that your glaze has gotten too sticky, just put the glaze back on over low heat and stir in some more apple cider until it becomes runny enough to brush over the turkey again.)
  7. Allow to rest for 20 minutes before slicing into pieces and serving.
Optional: Place the turkey breast in a broiler-safe dish and broil for 5-7 minutes to brown the skin.

Slow Cooker Maple Herb Butter Turkey Breast Recipe from A Kitchen AddictionThis recipe is made possible by the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting brands that make A Kitchen Addiction possible!

Turkey's in the crockpot.

As it gets closer to being done I'll start glazing it every so often with the apple cider and brown sugar.

Fingers crossed!  I'll let you know how it goes!

And - there will be dressing.  Old fashioned sage dressing like my mama used to make.

And mashed potatoes.

And gravy.

And yeast rolls.

And a couple of side dishes.  But only a couple since it's only Don and I.  No big ol' casseroles this year.

And a pecan pie.  Don Barley loves pecan pie.  Me?  not so much . . .

But there's always ice cream.  Yay!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  

Whether you're spending the day with a houseful, or at a table for one, I wish you warm wishes and good health.

Friday, November 17, 2017

What day Is it?! Where is my dog?!

Life is so confusing when you're retired.

You - okay, I will change this to "I" - I never know what day it is for one thing.

Take today for instance.

It's Friday, right?

Then WHERE is Annabelle?

I have gotten up and walked through the house, opened the back door and yelled "Annabelle!" a half a dozen times today.

She's at Woof Pack for play day.

She usually goes on Tuesdays, so that's the day I usually get up and walk through the house and open the back door and yell "Annabelle!" a half a dozen times.

So today's been a doubly confusing day.  It's Friday, not Tuesday, but I still can't find my dog.


Thank Goodness!  It's time to go pick her up.  Tonight will be a whole lot less stressful than today.  I may not know what day it is, but at least I'll know where my dog is . . . 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Georgia O'Keeffe Living Modern Exhibit, Reynolda House, Winston-Salem,NC

I loved everything about this Georgia O'Keeffe Living Modern exhibit. 

It was brilliant, and more than I expected. 

More about the woman. 

Her art being, of course, a huge part of who Georgia O'Keeffe was, but she was so much more. 

Much more than the huge floral paintings that she's best known for. 

Take a break from the news and enjoy the life and works of a remarkable woman. 

There are lessons to be learned from Georgia O'Keeffe and other strong women like her.