Sunday, July 30, 2023

Road Trip Day #7 "Put That in Your Story"

 When surrounded by family at a reunion, one will notice the different generations. I love chatting with the elders as much as I enjoy catching up with those my own age. Funny how conversations turn when your relatives find out you are a romance author. Add a little wine and the juicy stuff comes out.

One cousin could be and should be a writer. She's incredibly creative and finds a story everywhere. Throughout the weekend, Cousin J would gasp and turn to me with wide eyes and shout, "Put that in a story!"

After asking the cousins about their "cute meets" with their husbands, I have enough fodder for several more books. Cousin J suggested I write one book based on all of them.  

Subject matter includes the heroine in a long-term relationship when Mr. Right comes along, but he certainly has to work to turn her head after fumbling numerous times for a first date. 

Put that in your story!

Let's take a look at a bedraggled heroine heading back home on a plane after everything that could go wrong goes wrong, only to have Mr. Right sit next to her. 

Put that in your story!

Oh... the list of ideas continues.

Sharing a quiet moment with the eldest generation proved to be fruitful as well. Mom was married to dad for over 60 years. Aunt Val long marriage to Uncle Rog ended with his death. Ironically, after closing her heart, she found love again in a sweet fella who has a witty sense of humor. When asked the secret of a long, healthy marriage Uncle Larry said it best.

"Marry your best friend."

Put that in your story!

Road Trip Day #6 "Family Traditions"

 Family traditions help strengthen family bonds and gives family members a sense of belonging especially when miles often separates them. Nothing brings loved ones together than celebrating traditions and often creating new ones.

The Family Reunion concluded with traditions.

Aunt Val made Lefsa for breakfast. She has been sharing the secret recipe and cooking process with her daughter who will carry on the tradition.

Lefsa is a Norwegian flatbread cooked on a large, flat griddle. Our family eats it warm with butter and sugar. It is also good with brown sugar and cinnamon or jelly. We roll the tortilla-like bread into a roll and quickly stuff it into our mouths.

Worshiping together as a family was taken outside and the "service" prepared by the cousins. 

After reminiscing all weekend about when all the girl cousins chased a young Flyboy and tied him to a pole, the cousins turned the memory into a tradition.

It's tough being the only guy to all these dolls.

Take a moment today to think about what traditions you have in your family. 

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Roadtrip Day #5 "Take Time for a Break"

Being together is nice but sometimes stepping away from the schedule is needed.
Flyboy, I and our niece who is in the Navy slipped away from the family reunion for an hour in the morning to explore the quaint little lakeside town.

Flyboy was such a good man following us into each store while were examined every ware, smelled all the candles, tried on numerous outfits and wandered an art gallery. 

The romance of the shops became a refreshing break. A little something for the heart and soul. (A fun way to get extra steps if anyone's counting!)

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Roadtrip Days #3 and #4 "The Inlaws and the Outlaws"

When you marry into large family remembering names can often be a challenge. My mother-in-law is one of 5, born and raised on a farm in Fergus Falls, MN. As the siblings married the family grew with girls outnumbering the boys in the "cousins" generation. (Poor Flyboy was the only boy when his parents went home to MN.) Now those cousins are not only parents but also grandparents!

So here I am, trying to remember names of the cousins and their spouses whom I haven't seen in 25 years. The first day of the reunion I focused on getting to know them all over again. The second day, I began learning names of their kids.

Needless to say, the Battle Lake is beautiful. The Quast Crew is under one roof as all 14 of us share an Airbnb. 

Roadtrip Day #2 "Enjoy the Moment You're In"

When you don't give yourself a time limit you can enjoy more of the moment you are in.

After waking to "pea soup" fog, we left Michigan an entered Wisconsin via a 2-lane highway and didn't see much traffic but enjoyed wounderful morning scenery. 
Road work is a common occurrence during the summer months here in the mid-west. Jokes are made and even a couple songs have been writen. After graduation, the Menace took a summer job with the county Road Commission and has been a flag person lately. 
So of course I had to share this photo on the family group chat with the caption "Hey look, it's the Menace!"

In a blink of an eye we were in Minnesota.

 We stopped for gas and to sooth rumbling stomachs. The station bustled with travelers like ourselves exhibitinga sense of comradery as if we all belonged to a secret club of sorts. Inside the shop, the delicious smell of grilling sausages greeted our noses. Isles were lined with products often needed by cross country adventurers as well as snacks, fresh pastries and ripened fruit. Flyboy and I nibbled on all-beef hotdogs filled with Wisconsin cheese.  

About an hour from our destination, we stopped to pick up the adult beverages for the reunion.  Flyboy walked into the shop, stopped and exclaimed, "I'm in heaven!"

Oh, boy....

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Roadtrip Day #1 "No Kids!"

This is the first trip without kids. Oh sure, we've done weekend getaways but this is a bit longer.

We will be meeting up with folks for a Keller Family Reunion in Battle Lake MN. Hubby's mom is one of the Keller siblings. The Menace is taking Mom & Aunt Cheryl to meet up with Flyboy Jr in Traverse City then fly to Minneapolis. 

Flyboy & I chose to drive, taking our time and turning it into a vacation. And yes, a dash of romance! Who do you think I am?
After having lunch in Mackinaw City,  we wandered the beach, holding hands, laughing and taking selfies. The first day ended at the border of Michigan and Wisconsin for a solid dinner and comfy bed to crash land. 

Most of the trip has been spent driving,  listening to music, talking, and simply creating a little love bubble. *sigh* Sometimes it's  nice to just be together.

Quiet moments of holding hands abd sharing a smile add a splash of romance in a busy life. After 32 years, gazing into my Flyboy's baby blues and his touch still make my heart flutter.

Try to take a moment today to simply be.

Peace out.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Back in the Saddle

As retirement from my "day job" approaches,  I began writing again and it feels so good. 

Finish Hawk's Honor for Decadent Publishing. 
Rework the Soul Series and republish.

Stay tuned! My writing partner promises to keep an eye on me.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Saturday Morning Coffee

It's the morning after a winning football game. Flyboy is on the other side of the country and the teen is not expected to emerge from his domain for several hours.
Time to enjoy the peace.

The dew is too heavy to sit on the deck, so I retire to the porch.

Reyka is needy today and I'm only happy to smother her with pats and kisses. Sonewhere nearby, a squirrel  complains of the lack of corn spread about the front yard.
Reyka goes on guard to protect her momma. It's nice to be loved.🥰

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Now, I Follow You.

        At first, I carried you.

Then I walked beside you.

Then I followed close behind.

But now, I follow you from a distance.

I've dropped back to where I belong at this particular mile marker of your journey. 

Now, it's time for you to take the lead and for me to trust I taught you well enough when I carried you and when we walked side-by-side for you to feel secure out in front.

But I'm still here, and that helps us both. I'm only a few mile back, watching you do your thing. Watching you choose, navigate, figure out your path. You are capable, careful and considerate. It is a privilege to watch you, see you as a fine young man.

As an observer of your life, I am not displaced; I am in the right place. I'm only a text, phone call or FaceTime chat or a drive away. Letting you go gradually is what helps you do it well and me do it at all.

This is Love that has loosened its grip. This is Love that will always hold on, just more loosely. This a Love that has an open palm outstretched, in case you need to grab onto it again.

This is Love still at the ready, so if you say, "Are you coming, Mother?" my answer will always be, "Yes, I'm coming. I'll be there soon."

I love my boys and am super proud of the wonderful men they are becoming.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Watchful Eyes

Do you ever get the feeling you are being watched?

My dad used to say, "Behave as if someone is watching you because chances are, somebody is."

Kinda creepy.
I decided to enjoy breakfast on the deck. Squirrels scattered as I took a seat but quickly returned to their morning meal.
 However,  I noticed a big female sitting on the guy's targets quietly watching. A very stoic creature. The others paid her no attention when she occasionally climbed down to nibble on some corn, then return to her post. 
I'm not sure if she watched over the various critters on the ground or if she watched me. I could've sworn I felt her beady eyes upon me. Plotting, planning who knows what in that squirrely mind.