What in the world happened?

Last year I was bopping along, blogging at least every week or so, and doing quite well with it (I thought). Today I attempted to log on after commenting on someone else’s site, and realized I’d forgotten my password. Reading back over the previous blogs, I realized I have been terribly remiss in my writing and keeping fans and folks up to date.

So, to catch up a bit: in the writing world, I have published two more books since last posting. Second Chances and Three in a Row (Two-bit Vacation Novels) are now in print and available on Kindle at Amazon. Or you can check out my Facebook page at Eulene Watkins, Author and order by clicking the ‘shop now’ button at the top of the page.

Second chances is about Eve Jensen who has a dream about Colorado and talks her companions into going there. They arrive in Creede and are driving around exploring the little town when Eve sees the same church she saw in her dreams. This book is about forgiveness and second chances.

Three in a Row takes our girls to Wyoming to a working guest ranch where Abby finds herself among cattle rustlers. Of course there is a handsome rancher and lots of mystery and adventure.

I have been working on the fourth book in the Two-bit Vacation series. I’ve veered from the original three and this one is about four “older” women in the prime of life-60’s to 75 years, who decide a two-bit vacations sounds like a splendid idea and set off on their own adventure; proving that age is not a factor when it comes to adventure, friendship, mystery, and romance. I hope to have this book to the publisher before Christmas. Join me for another rousing adventure with women who have been there and done that and are rearing to do it again.

Meanwhile, Thanksgiving is upon us. Please take time each day to pray for our nation and thank God for the blessings he has provided.

God bless. I’ll try and do better.

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I’ve reached the age of comfortable shoes

 

FEET

 

It’s just a little thing, right? Comfortable shoes? I watch television shows of active police detectives and women who stand on their feet all day long, wearing stylish high heeled shoes as if it was the natural thing to do.

I have to say, that in real life, I have yet to see a policewoman, female detective, medical examiner, doctor, store clerk or any other such demanding, on-your-feet-eight-to-twelve-hours-a-day-occupation, wear high heeled shoes to work. Only on television. Am I right? I did know, personally, a school teacher who wore high heels every day of her life until she retired. But I have to say, she was an exception.

I developed bone spurs in my left foot last spring. I endured them throughout the summer months and finally after seeing a podiatrist for four months, exercises, a special boot, and a steroid shot in the affected area, I am now able to walk without pain, provided I wear sensible shoes.

Yesterday, I wore sensible shoes. Well, I thought they were sensible. They have a one-inch heel, inserts with arch supports (I have a very high arch and the doctor recommended it). I’ve worn them before without problems. By the first hour I had discarded them and was doing my job as kitchen hostess at our church in my stocking feet.

Now that is just the tip of the iceberg, as the saying goes. It wasn’t long before my arches were aching, and the pads of my feet were feeling discomfort. I slipped on my shoes, walked from one door to the next, “ouch ouch ouch” kicked them off again and continued to work in my stocking feet.

There was a wedding and a pot luck! Sparkling fruit juice to toast the bride and groom. I was serving tables and had just emptied one tray of glasses, when I stumped my little toe on the heel of my good friend, Mary’s shoe! Sharp pain, limp to kitchen, get busy, pain turns to throb, stay busy, forget about pain, until….

Bedtime!

Only then do I recall the little stump-my-toe incident.

Lesson learned. Stylish is not everything! We gals like to think it is. We’re told by fashion ‘experts’ that our stocking, if colored, should match the hem of our skirt, our shoes and hand bags should match in color, and should match the style of our outfit. Obviously these fashion experts have never had bone spurs, broken toes, fallen arches or other foot problems. I’m here to tell you that from now on, my outfits will be finished off with all the right accessories; those that make me look fashionably correct. However the shoes? They’ll be my sensible shoes, complete with diabetic inserts, tied snugly around my ankle and with double knotted ties.

Stylish? Maybe not. Comfy? By all means. Beautiful? Nope.

At the end of the day, when I rest my weary head, I will not need to take a pain medication to ease the aches and pains attributed to improper shoes. After a certain stage in one’s life, Comfort is key!

Facing the New Year

Christmas is over. We watched Christmas movies from just before Thanksgiving on until the day after Christmas. Hallmark blessed us with 12 new ones this year. We managed to see all of them, thanks to Direct TV and the ability to record. We also recorded some that we haven’t seen in several years, and watched them again.

Christmas movies, the troubles, the positive fix, the romance, the expectations of a miracle, and the belief in Santa always put me in the Christmas Spirit.
Oh, I know Santa isn’t real, and he doesn’t live at the North Pole, but there is something about the mystery of a kind man who loves and gives that restores my hope for the coming year.

I’ve never quite understood how it always snows on Christmas Eve in those movies and they count it a miracle. Well, I guess in Southern California, or the Arizona desert, but all I can think of is the mud it will create that I will have to clean up on Christmas Day, after everyone has tracked it in. Okay, that’s the practical me. I think a nice deep snow, that stays for several days before getting muddy would be nice, but that seldom happens in the area where I live. When it does, it’s usually after Christmas.

But I transgress. Back to Christmas Spirit, miracles, and the New Year. They say that Christ was not born in December, and I’m pretty sure this is correct. More than likely sometime in the fall, but I’m glad they decided to celebrate the birth of Jesus toward the last part of December, right before the new year.

It’s fitting and appropriate that some of that good will follow us into the new year. Tomorrow is the first day of 2015. A blank slate. Many will make resolutions, few will keep them. The only resolution I have made in the past few years is to keep God as my focus. See beauty in everything. Stay positive in my thoughts and actions. Love the unlovable. For the most part, I’ve kept that resolution, and if I stray off, I am able to renew it by reading God’s Word, and/or going to church for a refresher course.

This year, I will add two new resolutions to the mix. On January 1, I will begin writing again on Three in a Row, A Two-bit Vacation Novel, which I put it aside the first of December so I could do some Christmas Crafting and attend some Christmas functions. The sabbatical has done me good. Now back to the computer, chasing those adventurous girls across the country.

In conjunction with this resolution, I resolve to take four days per month for ME!! Mostly I will do some crafting, but maybe I’ll go on a short little two-bit vacation of my own. Whatever I decide, I will do it with a positive attitude looking for the best in every situation.

Thank you all for following my blogs. Thank you for buying my books. Thank you for sharing.

I wish you all the best in the new year. May you have health, wealth (in love and family) and money enough to pay the bills.

The little things that count

Tomorrow, November 25, 2014, marks 50 years of wedded bliss (and hiss) for Archie and me. Can you believe it? Fifty years!!! The really neat thing is that 50 years ago Nov 25 fell the day before Thanksgiving, just as it does this year.

It doesn’t feel like 50 years. Good grief, I never thought I would be old enough to say I remember 20 years ago, much less 50 years ago. I’m not old!! I don’t care what the calendar says! I refuse to grow old! Chronologically, maybe I’m up there in years, but my thinker is way younger, and that’s what counts.

For our anniversary this year Archie bought me a pendant with a heart hanging inside a sliver of a moon that says “I love you” on the heart and on the moon it says, “To the moon and back.” I love it and I will wear it often.

Archie has never been a generous ‘gift giver.’ On occasion when we were younger, it bothered me. Other wives and sweethearts were receiving roses for their anniversaries and going out to dinner for special occasions. Once in a while they would receive gifts “just because.”

I no longer feel that way.

For fifteen years, before he retired, he worked four ten hour days every week. He had Friday’s off, and sometimes even Mondays when there was a holiday. I worked Fridays and whenever possible I volunteered for holidays in order to receive the extra pay. Since he was off on Friday and I was working, he suggested he start doing the laundry (to help out). I was apprehensive, but I agreed and showed him how to sort by color, etc.; how much soap and bleach to use…. the works. From doing the laundry, he began doing the dishes. He vacuumed the carpets. He started cleaning the cat box and taking the garbage out.

When I was working, my weekends were virtually chore free! Is that a working woman’s dream or what? Oh, I still had to do the cooking. (Being a professional cook, I was loath to give him everything; besides, from his own admission, he only cooks eggs.) I still made the bed and cleaned the bathrooms. He didn’t take it all. I’m sure his reasoning was he didn’t want me to feel like a displaced housewife (smile here).

When I retired, our days continued pretty much the same, except I do the dishes most of the time. Oh, if I mention it, he will do them, but I don’t. Not often, anyway.

Archie shows me his love in ways that really count. Gifts? Trinkets? Jewelry? I really don’t need anything. He proves his love daily with the little things. He makes putting up with him for fifty years worthwhile. Thank you Honey. I love you.

 

Empty correspondence

At the age of 16, my address book was full of addresses of very special people that I corresponded with on a regular basis. My mailbox nearly always had three or four letters, every day. Sadly, today, the addresses in my book have been scratched out, due to death, losing touch, or social media. I have a lot of “friends” on FaceBook, but when you get right down to it, I don’t keep up with most of them. I don’t socialize with most of them.

The mailbox in front of my house (depending on the time of year and season of political candidates) is filled with political flyers, insurance offers, and assorted other unsolicited materials.  I receive a handwritten letter from my sister about once a week, if I remember to answer her last missive.

I am thankful for modern technology. Because of e-mail, I have regained contact with some of the friends I knew 50 years ago. Their schedules were so busy they had stopped writing real letters, so we’d lost touch. Technology allows those letters to arrive at their destination within minutes, but still, one has to take the time to write them and click the send button, or correspondence is nil.

My e-mail inbox is as jam packed as my mail box at the end of my drive way. Full of Dr. Oz promotes, political flyers, invitations to porn sites and and other junk that hits the trash as soon as it arrives.

I joke that I never buy “notes” in those pretty little packages, because I don’t know how to write a note. It’s true, though. When I write, I write long letters.

At one time I had over 40 pen pals. Not just relatives and friends, but real, honest to goodness ‘strangers’ that I wrote to on a regular basis. Two of these pen pals became friends and I wrote to them for a very long time. Sheryl, came from Australia, via New Zealand. She actually came, with her daughter, to visit me in the 1980’s. We had a wonderful visit, but when she left I knew about as much about her as I did before she came to visit.

Kathy, was from Long Island, New York. Archie and I went to visit her and her family in 1997. When they picked us up at the airport it was as if we’d just hung up the phone from our last conversation. We spent 10 glorious day with them and had the time of our lives.

The difference in Sheryl and Kathy was the form of correspondence. You see, Kathy, like me, wrote about the events in her life and how she felt about them. Sheryl, on the other hand, wrote about the events in her life. Nothing more. So at the end of 30 years, I knew very little about the person of Sheryl. However, in less than 10 years, I knew Kathy’s heart and soul. We were kindred spirits. We shared a bond.

Sheryl stopped writing me in the early 90’s. I know not why. Death did not take her, for I heard from her daughter later asking for a memory to share on her 50th birthday.

Kathy, my beloved friend, died on November 4, 2011. I cannot tell you how much I miss that woman. We wrote to each other for over 40 years. We shared our happy times, our sad times, our families (I am still in touch with her daughter and son) our anger, our love, our feelings.

I miss that kind of correspondence. All my friends have fallen by the way side of busy lives and social media. I’m sad. I want a mailbox full of letters, even short ones, an inbox full of things that matter instead of junk that gets trashed. Social media is great for keeping in touch, but it misses the mark when it comes to real communication.

My husband is a shoe diva

As I made the bed this morning, I stubbed my toe on a pair of boots tucked not so neatly between the bed and the small bedside table next to it. My husband’s side of the bed. I muttered a grouchy “ouch” and continued to make the bed.

The next step in my morning routine is to finish dressing, so I grabbed my shoes and sat on the edge of the bed to put them on and tie them up. From my perch on the bed, I saw two pairs of shoes in the corner, on the floor, behind the door that goes to the bathroom. Next to those on a boot box (and yes there were boots in the box), were two pair lying on their sides. I realized this is where I put the throw pillows at night,  that decorate our bed during the day.

Next view, under the chair space of my mirrored dresser; three more pair of masculine shoes. Curious, I dropped to my knees (not an easy task, I assure you) and lifted the bed-skirt. Sure enough, at least six more boxes and three more unboxed pairs.

Heading to the closet, I slid the mirrored doors open and lo and behold, two more pairs of boots. Hmmm. Living room coat closet. Ah, yes… three more pair. Are you getting the picture?

Now, I ask you. Why does one man need so many pairs of shoes? Shoes that he seldom wears? Shoes that he swears hurt his feet, but he doesn’t want to get rid of them because someday he may be able to wear them.

Okay, in all fairness, I have shoes. Three pair usually litter the floor of the bathroom where I dress. My walking shoes, which have inserts, that I wear daily. My sandals that I wear occasionally if my feet don’t hurt and I’m wearing cropped paints, and my house shoes.

Inside my closet I have three shelves of shoes. Two more pairs of house shoes, that were gifts and not worn out yet. I trade off. Several pairs of heels for dress. I have two black pair, a bone pair, a red pair, and several pairs of sandals.  Hiking boots and two pair of cowboy boots. But guess what? They rest on the shelves, made for them, and I wear them (when my feet are well. Right now I suffer from a bone spur on my left foot, so footwear is limited.) And they are in the closet! Where they belong!

Love my man! Never let it be said that men aren’t divas. Mine is! A shoe diva! Fair and square.

Fifty years of wedded bliss

As stated in my previous post, we recently held our second Brannon Family Reunion, about 10 miles up the mountain, near Greer. The weather was gorgeous. The turnout was fabulous. It was wonderful getting to visit with all the grandkids, cousins and nieces and nephews.
This is the year of our 50th Wedding Anniversary (our official anniversary date is November 25), and because all my family was present, I decided it would be a great time to celebrate the event. Nothing like a captive party, right? This way they didn’t have to decide if they were coming or not. They didn’t have a choice.Anniversary-10

Our friends, Roy and Carol, who celebrated their 50th were in attendance, as well as old school friends, Oranna Simpson and Rod and Camille Armstrong. Robin Drury came to represent the church family. There was a major repair project going on at the church, which prevented most members from attending. Thank you Robin! You’re a mighty small person to represent so many, but you did it in style. We appreciate you.

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Mel Dawn brought the cake all the way from Albuquerque.

My niece, Melody Dawn, brought the cake and took over the decorating. With a little of this and a little of that, and some help from various family members, she made the place look very festive. Thank you, my dear. You are awesome! 

Aniversary-3

Even after 50 years the man still surprises me. He never drinks wine or champagne.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laughter; at each other; at oneself; the true secret to a lasting marriage.

Laughter; at each other, at oneself; the true secret to a lasting marriage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My sister, Jo, created a lovely Money tree from a branch she commandeered from the forest. She decorated with gold foil and gold tinsel for a lovely place to hang gifts and cards.

The money/gift tree.

The money/gift tree.

 

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A gift from our; daughter, Dahli and her kids: In the frame, two spoons with our names on them and at the bottom a red heart with the words “Spooning since 1964”.

Anniversary-camp

A gift made by our granddaughter, Dantae, and signed by everyone she could tag. A picture of our hands, holding each other in the center, with signatures and wishes written in the matted area.