New Furry Addition

  After five weeks of missing Shabah, we gave in and bought another German Shepherd.  Sergeant Fur-face Rivers, “Sarge”, is now asleep under my desk, worn out from his first obedience and socialization class at the local university campus.  I am just beginning to realize what a job is ahead of me if I want …

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The Herringbone Dress

My mother was frugal.  She seldom bought clothes for herself.  She spent most of her life in a nurse’s uniform.  The minute she got home, she headed for the shower.  Tossing her uniform into the washing machine, she changed into “work clothes” — inexpensive paint-stained polyester pants and shirts she made herself.  She had one …

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Summer School

A few weeks ago, our local newspaper ran several pages of summer programs for children.  Some are daily “camps” filled with activities and run all summer.  Others are enrichment programs that teach everything from archery to zoology.  Times haven’t changed.  Working parents need safe “holding stations” for their children, like Marta in Her Mother’s Hope …

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Hide-outs and soapbox cars

One grand benefit to having parents who build their own home is left-over materials.  Dad gave us permission to use whatever was in the scrap pile, and use it we did.  My brother took over the old chicken hutches, cleaned and reconstructed them into a hide-out with a ladder that could be pulled up to …

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The DIY Generation

My mom and dad built their home from the foundation up, literally.  I remember when they broke ground and laid out the lines, poured concrete and put up the walls.  I still love the smell of sawdust.  The scent sends me back to happy childhood memories.  Both of my parents worked. Dad was a policeman …

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Celebrating Mother

My mom was my advocate, advisor, confidante.  It sounds almost cliché to say she was my best friend, but she was.  No matter what choices I made, her love remained unconditional.  She didn’t always agree with my views or actions, but she gave me gave me room to grow and the freedom to speak my …

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Time on the Farm

Writing about Marta and Hildemara in the Central Valley of California brought back lots of memories from my childhood – and time I spent with my grandmother in Livingston.  Both of my parents worked, so my brother and I spent time each summer with Grandma.  We both looked forward to it! It gets HOT in …

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Teachers

Teachers play a role in building Hildemara’s faith in Her Mother’s Hope. Last week, while in Fort Wayne, Indiana, I had the good fortune to reconnect with a friend I met through email.  Sharon, now retired, taught Latin in a public high school. She had been using the Mark of the Lion trilogy to encourage …

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What’s in a Name?

When I’m writing, there’s always a reason for the names I choose.  Even place names.  Paxton is the name of the town where Hildemara and Trip end up.  Paxton was the name of the street in Oakland where my parents lived as a young married couple.  The street is long gone, bull-dozed and under a …

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The Drive for Education

The drive for Education In the beginning of Her Mother’s Hope, Marta’s father tells her education is wasted on girls.  This came from my grandmother’s story.  She was taken out of school before high school and put to work.  What she made was used to pay tuition for her brother.  She wrote “I wanted to …

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