Fractured Facade

"A fathers death...a daughter's life...a sociopath's vendetta...FRACTURED FACADE ...a novel written as memoir. Only $4.99 and available exclusively on Amazon. Kindle Unlimited members read for free! Click here for direct link.


THE VALENTINE'S DAY CURSE -- A Short Story, Free everywhere...except on Amazon (boo! hiss!) where it's $.99 to buy! Click here for direct link! Let them know it's free at these stores and they may price match it! Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books...more to come.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Chasing Wood Windmills

It's rare you'll encounter an "old" mechanic. Usually they'll "retire" way before they should because they have no choice. It's a hard field...hard on the bones...hard on the hands...hard to deal with so many morons, just kidding, no, I'm not.

As many of you know my husband is a mechanic, but he's always thinking about what he'll do next when he can't turn a wrench anymore. His preference would be to work with wood. He's very talented in that area, as he is in engine rebuilding, but woodworking is hard to "make a living" at.

But, he enjoys it so who am I to tell him he's chasing windmills? In this picture there are three things my husband has built from trunks of trees. The planter shelf is one...

The planter which is so heavy I cannot move it is another...

And the last is the birdhouse, which is really large enough to be a bird hotel.

He's pretty good at it. Too bad by the time he factors in his material costs and labor each project ends up costing him money.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Nacho Blogger Award

Over the last week Blogger has been riddled with problems. Today is the first day I can sign into my dashboard but only using Firefox and not Internet Explorer. When I tried signing in with IE it would take forever and then I'd get an error message saying the URI is too long. Clearly it's a problem with Blogger as others have experienced it as well. I've been following the "help" boards which Google and Blogger have chosen to ignore. Fellow bloggers have been able to help others with their suggestions, alas, it did not work for me. I think it's terrible that Blogger is announcing everything is back to normal when clearly it isn't.

I don't even care anymore as I don't have the same desire to blog as I've had over the years. Still, I'd like to be able to sign in now and then when the urge strikes without getting frustrated. For all the rants and raves I've written over the years I've decided I should receive an award so I proudly bestow upon myself the Nacho Blogger Award. Thank you, thank you.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Garst Mill Creek

I stumbled upon the "special effects" setting on my camera so went to town on the creek at Garst Mill Park in Roanoke County...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Civil War Homes Tour

On Saturday the "Ghost Gals" checked out the Civil War Homes Tour offered by Roanoke County. There were eleven different locations that could be viewed over a two day period. We toured seven in one day. I would have liked to visit them all but time ran out and didn't want to spend Mother's Day finishing up.

Besides the fronts of most of the homes being very similar in style, the other constant factor was this flute playing guy.

He was like Mary's Little Lamb...everywhere we went he was sure to follow. At first we thought there were different flautists at each location and when we realized it was the same guy it was sorta freaky.

I thought it was a nice tour. The owners of the homes we visited were gracious hosts for opening their houses to the public and the period dress costumes enhanced the experience.

I suggested a drinking game whereby every time "Yankees" was said we'd take a shot, "damn Yankees" warranted a double, but we didn't have any alcohol so that didn't fly.

The majority of the homes were beautiful inside...

...and the grounds magnificent.

I could well imagine someone gazing out the window looking towards the fields waiting for their loved one to come back from war.

I was drawn to the original structures where you could feel the past in the present. If you look closely, in between the bricks, you'll see a traveller's note dated July 24, 1887.

This is where the Black Horse Tavern, 1782, once stood.

As I was walking nearby I saw something sticking out of the ground and used my sneaker to dig away at it. I found this door hinge, which very well may be the original from the tavern door.

We handed it over to the owner who didn't seem as excited as I was to have found it. I also discovered shards of pottery where the tavern stood. If I owned that property I would definitely have an archaeological dig.

I was very happy we visited the Stoner House which Deedie Kagey owns.

I told Deedie, (second from the right) how much I loved her History of Roanoke County book and picked her brain a wee bit as part of research I'm undertaking for my next book. She was very helpful and showed me some old maps of Botetourt County.

Since it's been challenging to find out the answers to questions I have regarding black communities from the Civil War days and beyond, she suggested I visit the Hollins library or talk to the folks at the Harrison Museum. Deedie was such an informative guide and a truly nice person and she'll probably regret saying I should call her.

All in all it was a really nice day and a job well done by Roanoke County...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Cloisters I

I thought everyone had heard of The Cloisters. "Come to The Cloisters" was drilled into my head when I was a kid watching WPIX NY. That commercial along with "Come to Palisades Park" was run about a million times a day. My parents brought me to Palisades Park but never The Cloisters. It was too far to drive up the Hudson River to see some creepy building. For the record, I discovered on this trip, according to Ms. GPS, it's a mere 12 miles from my Brooklyn home. Of course those miles are NYC miles so actual distance means nothing.

Looking at this view from the Cloisters grounds it's hard to believe if you drive 1/3rd of a mile you're smack in the middle of the city insanity.

I always believed The Cloisters was where monks had lived in the past, or even still lived in. I was wrong. The Cloisters is a medieval abbey-style museum built in the 1930's which showcases art and architecture from the Middle Ages. When I realized there wouldn't be any monks, past or present, who wanted to speak with me, I put my digital recorder away.

Here are some shots taken outside of The Cloisters...

We did splurge for the $20 to get behind the walls so I'll post some indoor shots soon...