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UPDATES 2017

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May 25: Cold and slowly warming. Turtleneck tops still feel good. I also haven't turned the furnace off again. Even if not all that warm, the sunshine FEELS warm.

Yesterday brought more than wamer weather. My friend Dee dropped in for an afternoon visit, Our times together are about catching up, sharing and Prayer. I am glad I don't have to travel as much as she and husband Alan does since they are missionaries with Wycliffe. Enjoyed the visit, glad they are headquartered in the states now.

I am glad I can stay home and work and write from home. Glad God created each of us unique and special for the work He has for us.


May 22: Yesterday started cold, but got decently warm by afternoon. Turned out to be a nice day for Kearney High School graduation. We had two receptions to attend. They were fun. At the second one, There was even food I could eat. And no adverse reactions. Yeah!

Of course, I was happy not to have to fix supper afterward.

I took a picture of my plants yesterday. I've been concerned about them this last week with the cold, brr temperatures, but they are bright, colorful and growing. Can't ask for more than that.

So the work week begins...

In your busy week don't, As the saying goes, "forget to smell the roses" or for me--take time to view my flowers and relax.

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May 19: Did I really think the cold weather had disappeared? Wrong! After some nice days, the cycle repeated. Rain and cold hit. No we didn't have snow, but some here in Kearney actually turned on their heat.

We didn't go that far, but I wore a turtleneck top and a warm vest yesterday. Today I am dressed even warmer. It did get up to 60 degrees yesterday finally, but it didn't feel like it. Makes me want to snuggle under covers.

Middle of May and it is COLD!

I hope my new plants outside will be ok. Probably will as they were outside at the store. One thing I like about the cold, keeps those pesky insects at bay.

Not to mention snakes. I've seen two out back already. NOOO!

Red Rose, Spinning

May 15: The day after Mother's Day. While I'm writing, I am looking at the potted flowers I bought yesterday afternoon. My sister-in-law Lorene and I headed to Earl Mays after we ate out with our husbands. Tomorrow, I plan to replant the flowers in my two pots out back.

Yesterday morning started out with calls from our two kids. Good way to start the day. Our daughter posted a sweet picture of our new granddaughter on Facebook for her moms--me and her mil. Worth the whole day!

Keith sent an ecard. (I love ecards.)And took me out of eat.

I was a substitute teacher in Sunday School with a class of 9 K-2nd graders. Went great until the older class teacher let the kids out into our classroom before Pastor Dave (who went overtime) was finished. I had to keep them all corralled in my classroom until the sanctuary doors opened. (The other class also had a sub.) I was ticked. Teachers need to be told NOT to let out kids until they are SURE church is over. Minor detail, but exhausting. Glad to go home until time to eat out.

Most exciting was the news Lyla has been released from the hospital after her heart surgery. Not 7 or 10 days later, but just 4 days after surgery. That's God!

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May 11: My nephew's daughter is doing remarkably well so soon after open heart surgery. Turned out the surgeon not only had to repair her tiny little heart valve, but also a hole that was discovered. This is one of those "best possible outcomes, and we're thankful. May 10: Temperatures up in the 80s the last few days. today down in the 50s. This is Nebraska. But my focus isn't on the weather outside--gloomy and overcast as it is.

Today my prayers and focus is on the 5-year-old daughter of my nephew. His daughter, born with a heart defect, is in Boston undergoing an 8 hour heart procedure.

Her heart was in such a condition at this point that there were no other options anymore. So today, we're surrounding this child and family with prayer.

I know, from my own experiences, that God hears the prayers of His people. We do not always understand the why of what happens, but I do know we can leave the results up to Him. I'm praying for the best possible outcome.

Holding onto Him. Yes! She came through with flying colors.

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May 6: Temperatures are climbing. Umm. Might have some Spring before Summer. I hear birds singing outside in the trees. Bet they are happy for the warming weather. Maybe now they can concentrate on nest building.

This is a week of birthdays. Yesterday I sent greetings to the daughter of our friends Jeff and Gloria Geiselman. Our oldest kids grew up almost as siblings. My Colorado SIL Jenni has a birthday today. Hope she has a good one. I'll send greetings.

Jeff also has a birthday today. We're celebrating with the movie "Guardians of the Galaxy 2" later this afternoon.

Birthdays are good opportunities to make positive memories. But we can make good memories any time. Why not take time to "stop and smell the roses" today.

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2017 May 2: The sun is out, but it is still pretty cool out there. We've been through wind, cold, rain...and snow this past weekend that stayed on lawns, roads and cars. Is this the last of Winter? It is now May, just maybe, we've seen the last of snow until next fall. At least we can hope. Meanwhile, I'm keeping the furnace on until that weather is warm enough to do so.

2017 April 29: Yes it is the end of April in Nebraska. What are we getting? Winter storm warnings. Will be an interesting weekend. Will we actually have snow? Wouldn't be the first time.

Been cold, windy and rainy this week. Snow is the next step.

I have said we have two seasons here--Winter and Summer. Now we have Winter.

Life is like our unpredictable weather. We never really know what might happen. In this weather, I stay warm with sweaters and covers. In life we cover ourselves by staying close to Jesus, for He is our refuge and protection against life's storms.

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April 26: This last weekend was the annual Scheidies Spring Get together. As most years, Saturday we gather at the Scheidies farm and on Sunday in Minden. We talk, catch up with each other's lives, laugh, eat and play games.

This year our newest granddaughter Ellery was the highlight of the weekend. Almost everyone had to hold and spoil her. She was very good through it all.

Keith brought our new game Oddly Obvious and that was a hit as well. Though not like Ellery.

Keith's mom died last April so this was the first year without her and that was hard and made for some silence and sober moments.

Hard also to see the empty space where the 80-year-old barn recently burned down. It wasn't the best of buildings anymore, but held lots of memories for the family.

I am thankful for a family who likes each other and enjoys getting together. In fact, there are already plans for some to go with Tim & Lisa to Sara's play on Saturday. And tentative plans to go out when we go to Omaha for Ellery's surgery in June.

I am blessed.

April 19: Been through cold and rain lately, but Easter turned out beautifully. Our church offers breakfast at 10 Easter morning before the service. That meant picking up kids early so they could have breakfast.

(Right now, we pick up a family of three kids. We only picked up two as the oldest was picked up early to help serve.) Kids are fun and so polite.

Mid afternoon we ate out with my brother Paul and wife Lorene.

I crashed later with a good nap.

I look outside and watch my flowers unfurl, reminding me our Creator appreciates beauty, and color. He is all about life and new life.
How can I doubt the new life He offers you and me?

Bert with daughter and DILS
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April 14: A year ago yesterday I fell and shattered my right shoulder. That was bad enough. But more was to come. The very next day we unexpected lost my mother-in-law.

Her death was a shock to the whole family as we gathered to mourn her passing. She was a dear woman of faith who surprised me when Keith and I fell in love so many years ago.

Can you imagine what she must have thought when Keith brought me home and told his folks he was marrying me. I'm not what you hope your eldest son would bring home. But she graciously welcomed me to the family.

Since my mother died my last year of college, Roberta (Bert) was my mom. She was delighted when we had kids and she got to spoil grandchildren.

Bert was a special lady. I am sad to know she's no longer with us, but thankful for all the years we had her with us. Heaven is richer for her presence.

April 12: The month is moving along. More so than my right knee--the one that takes most of my weight, especially when getting up and down. Last Friday, pain hit. Oh yeah! Not good!

As much as I hate pain meds, I did take half of the powerful pain med I do have on hand. It is subscription and I hadn't touched the bottle in about a year when I fell and broke my shoulder. (This is one of the few pain meds to which I am not sensitive to.) Or was. The first sign of intolerance is nausea. And I was--for almost a day. Ugh!

Also got out one of my crutches and discovered since my shoulder break last year, my arm is shorter. Keith made the crutch shorter, but couldn't make the hand hold shorter. I put several rubber bands around and above the crutch hand hold. It worked to hold onto.

Then the weather turned so cold, I dressed for winter and turned up the heat. You know, the weather that chills clear through. Took two days to feel really warm.

My knee has been getting better. At least, I no longer use the crutch. And I am warm enough. But I woke to rain today and my knee is letting me know about it.

Yet, for all the physical frustrations, none compare to what Jesus went through on his way to sacrificing His life for me. I bow in humble gratitude, realizing my problems aren't so bad after all.

The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. --John 10:10

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April 6: Our son Chris turned 37 this week. Rather boggles my mind. I still see the mischievous little boy who flew around the house and got into everything.

When I needed a hip replacement when he was fourteen months, I was supposed to be on crutches for six weeks. But smarty pants figured out I wasn't supposed to walk without my crutches. When he wanted something, he'd smile and hand me my crutches.

Ah. But, when he wanted to get into trouble, he'd take the crutches and put them out of my reach. I wasn't on crutches for six whole weeks--more like four or, maybe, five, and then only one.

Now, Chris has three kids of his own. Our grandkids. His turn.

Yup. Keith and I are parents and grandparents. We wonder, not why, but when we got old.

Now our daughter has a baby daughter and we're grandparents all over again. What can be better?

Hope is about hanging on through those frustrating times knowing God's got this and He has good things waiting around the corner.

Yet, even those frustrating times have become sweet memories and I look forward with anticipation and hope.

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April 3: Been a good weekend. My sister Karin came up from Kansas on Friday. We talked, caught up--and shopped. She stayed with brother Paul and Lorene and spent time with them. Saturday afternoon she and Lorene came over and Karin, with only a little help from us, rearranged my wall and other decorations in the living room.

Ran out of time, since we planned to go out to eat at 6:30. Told her she'll have to not wait six months to come back so the other pictures can be put back up.

Living room looks pretty good!

We had a good weekend together as family. I am thankful for my family and time spent with them. Next month it is Spring Fling with Keith's family.

We are blessed.

Click to order PRINT version from publisher
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March 30: Last day of March and we'll see if the month goes out like a lion. The past couple of days have been wind, rain and cold! Today the skies are gray as though trying to decide what today will bring.

On a day like today, there is nothing like curling up with something hot and a good book. That leads to my 4 book historical family series The Barrington Saga--stories rooted in history around and after the War of 1812 on both sides of the ocean. Each book stands alone with threads that tie one book with the other.

Important for this week is the third in the series SECOND CHANCE FOR CHARITY. The Kindle version is FREE until Sunday. Check out this series at http://www.idealinhope.com/barrington.html

Click here for Kindle version

March 24: We've gone from a string of warm weather days that had me convinced warm weather had come--permanently this Spring to nope, guess not! Last night the wind started. During the night the rain came--at least it is rain, not snow, and this morning I not only turned up the heat, but I am also wearing a sweater and jacket.

That's Nebraska. Why am I surprised?

What surprises me more is the lack of concern in the Christian community about a regular character in the latest Beauty and the Beast movie who has been written in as gay. Faith inferences from the original story are out. Gay is in. It bothers me that a conservative gay activist--yes there are some--is sounding alarm instead of Christians. Why not both? It is important even if the references are not in-your-face, because it is the tip of an invading iceberg. No pushback means full speed ahead. Power Rangers are next. Will Christians even care? Where is the line when they will say 'enough is enough?'

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March 20: Had a good but exhausting weekend. Friday Keith and I headed to Omaha because Cassie wanted me to attend the church's baby shower for little Ellery Saturday morning. While we attended the shower and did a bit of shopping afterward with Ellery, Keith hung out with Kurt. Kurt took them to a pizza place for lunch they can't go to when with us since there isn't anything on the menu we can eat.

The rest of the afternoon, we hung out with Cassie, Kurt and Ellery in their apartment. In the evening, we met Chris and his girlfriend Rachel at Outback. (It was our first meeting with Rachel.) We were into jokes and poking fun and lots of laughs.

Sunday we attended church with Cassie and Kurt, watching Ellery while they practiced with the choir before the service. Had lunch and then headed home.

On the way home, I texted our oldest grandson Happy Birthday! He turned 17!!! (I'd sent a gift earlier.) Good to be in contact with him.

Good weekend, glad to get home. Glad to unpack and crash.
Today I'm playing catch up and trying to get stuff done.

But there are good memories.

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March 10: And it is cold! I turned up the furnace. Did I say Spring had arrived? Wrong! The skies are gray and chill is in the air. What happened to our warm weather!!!

The thing is, why am I surprised. We've had snow in March and a blizzard in April After all, this is Nebraska. Blink--unless it is August--and the weather changes.

Hope we don't have a freeze that would harm the flowers and trees starting to bud.

Weather can be a downer, but the upper for me was my 13 year old granddaughter emailing me last night. We chatted a bit and "caught up" since I don't get to see her and her brothers all that much.

Tori made my evening. Told her about my latest book THE AUSTEN ADDICTION and she said she'd like to read it. That made me feel pretty good.

Family beats concern about weather all to shreds!

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March 6: The sun is out. A week after snow, ice and cold, Spring seems to have gained a foothold. Went to church without a coat. Nice!

I don't generally review books any longer, but....Just finished a book by Tracie Peterson entitled TREASURED GRACE, the first of the "Heart of the Frontier" series. The book took me to the Whitman mission in Oregon and held me to the story.

From my own research for my writing, I've dealt in general terms with this mission effort. What I did not know is the details of the massacre. Tracie's story starts just before this historical event that takes us back and takes our heart as well.

Grace and her sisters are on their way to Oregon. She'd married simply to provide for her sisters to a man who needed to be married to be commissioned as a missionary. But the marriage was in name only and when he dies along the trail, Grace is relieved. But now what?

They end up at the Whitman mission. A trapper with a past finds his heart engaged with the feisty Grace. But with tensions among the native tribes rising, when measles takes hold. Is there hope of either peace or love?

Another winner from Tracie. Check out my books as well.

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March 1: March already. I spent time yesterday finding decorations and setting up displays melding St. Pat, Spring and Easter decorations. After all, the whole reason St. Patrick became famous was because he brought the Gospel to Ireland.

The decorations were more fun than working with a book update. Got it all ready for print publication and then, quite by accident, found another error. How I have missed something so obvious through not only this edit, but all the work for the first edition. I go through my manuscripts tons of times. Just glad I caught it!

And most people think all we writers do is write. That's only a small--but important--part of what we do as professional authors.

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February 23: We've been having such warm weather it has felt more like late Spring than the last of February. Well, Winter decided to step in.

Woke up to the furnace working overtime and I hadn't even turned it up for the day. I haven't needed to turn it up the last couple of days because it has been so warm. This morning, I got up, walked down the hall and turned up the thermostat. Umm. Hot, warm air.

It is cold and windy outside. Only time will tell if we'll also get snow. Meanwhile, buckle up. Winter is back!

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February 15: The day after Valentine's Day and I am excited. My son convinced me to purchase an iPad Mine 2. At first, I objected, saying I wouldn't spend more money on an iPad Mini than I spent on my 15" laptop. (I already had a 7" Android which was on the blink and I was looking to replace.)

He found a mini 2 for a little over $200. I bought it and set it up--with some frustration. Now, I love it! Last evening--Valentine's Day, I received the keyboard and case I purchased. Looks so cool! Basically I now have a mini laptop.

Have already gotten work done on my new machine. Fast. Smooth. Efficient. Yes!

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February 8: Hard to believe it has been a week already since we returned home from seeing our new grandbaby. Cassie went through so much during pregnancy and during the birth of precious little Ellery.

But our new granddaughter is here and starting to gain weight. She's so little a picture of her with Kurt and Cassie's dog Melvin makes Melvin look BIG and he's a little dog. He is such a laid back dog and very sweet.

He was a rescue dog and has been Cassie's companion for years. Now Melvin can become a protector/companion to little Ellery.

Cassie's birthday was yesterday. As she said on Facebook with a picture of Ellery--Best birthday gift I've ever gotten.

I've only written a couple of books for young children. Can't wait to give them to Ellery when she's older.

Click for my books for the younger set

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February 4: Hard to believe that the first of this week we were in Omaha for the birth of our newest grandbaby. For the safety of mother and baby, the doctors first tried to induce early (37 weeks) and then did a C-section.

We got to hold little Ellery during the time we were there.

Got home Wednesday night. Since then, I've been trying to catch up and feeling pretty good about all I've gotten done. However, haven't gotten much done on the book I'm releasing, once I have time to do so.

Besides, faith and family should always come first. A pretty good reason to escape my work for a few days--a sweet new granddaughter!!!

Besides, I'm sure I'll be inspired to write articles and poems because Gramma loves her new grandchild!

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January 29: It is my granddaughter's 13th birthday today. Wow! How time flies. I remember holding the sweet little baby girl in the hospital. Was that really 13 years ago?

While my son's kids are growing up. Our daughter is just starting her family. Her baby shower was yesterday. My friend (who has been like a second mom to Cassie) drove us to Omaha, picking up my sister Karin in York (she drove up from Kansas) along the way. The three of us had a great time together eating out with Cassie & Kurt and Kurt's mom Friday night and with Cassie and Becky Saturday noon after Karin, Gloria and I had wiped out Trader Joe's. (Gloria had never been to one before.)

We had fun shopping. The problem was that the car was already filled with luggage and gifts, but we managed to fit everything in--and still have room for us.

On to the shower at Tim and Lisa's home. Lots and lots of pink packaging. Cassie had a blast opening all the gifts from family, "adopted" family like Gloria, and Omaha friends.

All too soon, we had to say our good-byes and head home. But not for long....pretty soon Keith and I will get to say "hello" to another granddaughter.

Can't wait!

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January 25: Yesterday was my birthday. I'm a geezer, no need to go into ages, though I'm sure many can figure it out.

I felt a bit down in the morning. Then I came out into the dining room to find a beautiful vase of flowers from Keith. Oh my!

Keith hadn't been able to get the day off as he usually does because he had to be at work--and early. It did mean he got home around three in the afternoon rather than 9 at night. It meant, despite the snow which stopped late afternoon, we were able to eat out. And, of course, I brought half of mine home.

Talked to both kids and my sister via phone. Responded to some emails. Cassie also sent me flowers with a cute little stuffed animal clinging to the vase.

Then the greetings. All day Facebook added more birthday greetings. Made me misty. How can I adequately thank family, friends, writer friends, fans for sending me greetings? (Hope you all read my birthday poem thank you.)

Anyway, thank you all. I feel wrapped in warmth.
I really did have a Happy Birthday!

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January 19: Monday I was glad Keith was off from work as everything was a glaze of ice and I didn't want him out on those roads. We turned it into a very productive day. Hung up a plaque I received for Christmas. Keith vacuumed and washed clothes. I got lots of little projects done. All in all, we got a lot accomplished.

I didn't accomplish as much with my book cover. I don't think the designer hired paid much attention to the information I sent. The first cover had an image that would send most readers of romance heading for the door rather than to a cash register. Me included.

I was clear about info, font, size and more information about characters and concepts from the plot. The second cover was a romance cover--for some other book. Had nothing to do with my book. No attention paid to my requests regarding fonts, size, etc.

I was more than a little thankful when the designer asked to be released from our contract. You bet. Now back to square one. I have some ideas I'm running with.

We'll see where they lead.

Ice w/ bubble pattern

January 16: Welcome to the land of sleet and ice. It looks like an ice rink outside. Scary for anyone driving. Thankfully, we can stay home and inside.

Yesterday we prepared to go to church. Wasn't bad when we got up, but by the time I called our pastor who was already at the church he said it was getting slick. With my risk factors, he said I should stay at home. He wasn't expecting many to come out, including the worship team, so he was using "canned" music.

We stayed home and found two preachers on TV to watch. I confess, I fell asleep during the second sermon.

If this is your weather...stay home if you can. I'm glad I work at home. Means even in bad weather this workaholic can still get stuff done.

Click Cover for more information
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January 11: Already well into the new year. This week, thankfully, after quite the process and repair persons, we have hot water and heat. I think permanently this time.

Been impressed with those who went above and beyond to make sure we were taken care of. People cared. Businesses cared. And I end up not with complaints, but with gratitude.

Not to mention, I wrote a Hub article about the situation that I'll submit later. All good and just in time for the snow/ice front that is supposed to move it.

What a good time to get some books and settle in for a reading session. Check out the Medieval suspense romance "Lady Comfrey and the Secret of Cambraige Castle." FREE Kindle version this week.

http://www.idealinhope.com/historicalfiction.html

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January 4: Already several days into the new year and today I woke up to snow. It is still coming down, steady, not wind driven. A nice snow. Can hardly complain since, so far, winter has been very mild and this snow isn't cause for concern.

New Year's Eve hubby and I stayed home. And, no, I did not even try to make it to midnight.

Sunday was church and wishing family and friends "Happy New Year." Many, including my husband Keith, was off work Monday as well. Perfect for the siblings living in Nebraska to spend time with Keith's dad.

Reserved a space at Ruby Tuesdays and enjoyed eating and being together. Afterward several came over to our house to play cards.

Monday was a day to make good memories.
Happy New Year!


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