Friday, April 18, 2014

So Fair a Lady-Amber Awesomesauce and her SLIGHT technical problems!!!



Have you ever wondered, "Wow, what I really need is to lose an insane amount of sleep, be a nervous wreck, AND pray for fake people?"

Then Amber Perry's 'So Fair A Lady' is the book for YOU!!

Here's the cover...


Ain't it purty???


And here's my review....

Eliza and Kitty Campbell are in royal trouble.
Their father is dead, their future is unsure, and they are knee deep in the midst of political turmoil that might tear them apart. But never fear, Samuel Martin is here. And there. And everywhere.
Thomas Watson is in royal trouble too, but the kind that gets you dead. The kind that Samuel Martin seems to have far too much skill at, and far too frightening for a young man alone.
Thomas Watson’s friend and mentor, Robert Campbell, was a spy for the Sons of Liberty, and his secrets have thrown his two daughters into a realm of intrigue, danger and certain death. Thomas must save them, and many others, and yet who can he trust? Where can he hide two women? And how far must he go before his actions are unforgivable?
Amber Perry sent me a copy of So Fair A Lady…and robbed me of sleep!!!
I was stressed, nervous, and had to take frequent chocolate breaks just to cope with Thomas and Eliza’s perils and problems! The story starts at a hard place and just plunges the reader down the waterfall, then out through the rapids, swirls through the white water than BAM, you’re down another chute!
I am a huge fan of Laura Frantz, Lori Benton and Tamara Leigh, and now? Amber Perry! I would HIGHLY recommend So Fair A Lady if you want to squirm, swoon and pray for the characters!
An excellent read, and seriously, you can sleep tomorrow night, right?



And because Amber is more gorgeous, and brilliant, and talented...umm, than she is umm, aware of itty bitty tiny weensy details....


So Fair A Lady is on sale on Amazon....NOW.


Go over to her blog and she'll tell you the story...it's kinda funny...now.



Go...


GO!!


Oh, and guess who the cover model is????

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I'm taking a leave of absence...






From NOT whining.




HAHAHAHA!

See how I italised and boldeded that?

So, about the whining...

Insert a moment of pouting n-n-n-n-now...


www.littleheartsbooks.com




Actually, for most of today. 

I just did not do a thing.

www.thesundaytimes.co.uk

And yes, that is me. 
And I have a pet unicorn.

Oh wait. I read. 

And I made the minions supper. 

www.IwishedIlikedflan.com


Ever have those days where you just think...nope...I refuse to be a grown-up? Where, or, pardonez moi, grammar police, in which, you just decide, yup, it's recess. ALL DAY. 

And you can hear the inner voices telling you to do all kinds of things, that you SHOULD be doing...but...you're done.

Done like toast.

And you NEED to do nothing.

Not because you are frazzled, but so you won't get frazzled.

So remember to take a day and CHILL....

To relax...

To breathe...

To take a mini-vacation.


don't hate me this is my photo...





NOW???

 Go back at it!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Do not...fear...plus an update...



FEAR.



ssqq.com

Quite a few people we know are going through very difficult circumstances. 
One of the families from #4's winter hockey team (as opposed to spring hockey team) is dealing with cancer. He's a tough guy, but I pray for them often. Who wouldn't? 

 

inautonews.com

Some are dealing with addictions, and no matter what, DO NOT EVER tell their loved ones to pray harder. Just tell those family members who are watching a loved one implode that you will stand beside them as best you can. 


Some are dealing with varying levels of incurable pain. I can relate to that. All too well.

But one thing I did NOT anticipate has hit me hard enough...

That I'm actually scared. 

Now, followers of Christ aren't supposed to succumb to fear. We're not to hang back from battle, but to run IN to the fray. To fight hard because we know our King is beside us, and we know He will win.


But...I realized something this past week.

I have lost something very precious to me. 

And I cannot simply find a new one.

I have had this treasure almost my entire life. It is part of what makes me, me. No, it's not the most amazing or powerful or stunning, but it's mine, and I've been told I do all right on occasion. And as my friend Suzanne pointed out, it is how I worship.

Since my fall in January, the one in which my snapped neck backwards?

I have lost my singing voice.

And for a person who sang the highest of the high notes? Who was happiest in the key of F? Who sang the Hallelujah Chorus for fun?

And until I see a doctor or two, I feel like part of me is trapped.





Most importantly, I need to give this over to God. And wait on Him.

What else can I do?

~~~~~~~~~~
Update: I see my doctor next Tuesday. 
I sure hope he sends me to an ENT.
That's 'ear, nose and throat' specialist. Not a big talking tree. Although, that would be kinda cool.






Monday, April 7, 2014

Authentic Jennifer , but no fake Native Americans.


Now, I'm going out on a limb here and tossing out an idea.

How authentic does a writer need to be? I'll give you some ideas, and you tell me what you think.


In Courting Morrow Little, a masterpiece, MASTERPIECE, in how to ratchet up the tension and exhaust the reader, Laura Frantz takes an Oglala Lakota leader from the 1800's and moves him to the Shawnee in Kentucky in the 1700's. 

THAT doesn't faze me at all. He was still the same man, in essence, and the respect given his character versus the real man was identical. 

Moving people back and forth through history is done all the time, in film and other books. It is an accepted literary vehicle for telling a story. 

In fiction, especially sci-fi and fantasy, cultures are made up all the time. Hello, Pandora? That film had an indigenous culture that was well created, and well written. 

But recently, I read a book, no names, nuh uh, not going there... that bothered me.  REALLY bothered me.

BOTHERED.
ME.
A LOT!!!

The story itself was lovely.

But the author made up a tribe. 

Read that again.

MADE.
UP.
A.
TRIBE.

Now, given the research that was done in regards to the historical era, clothing, politics, and even the type of horse drawn conveyance, WHY did the writer make up a tribe?

To me, and only to ME, (pulling the personal opinion card) IF there is an indication that there existed an actual settlement or settlements of a group of individuals that collectively made up an established culture or people group, why the sam hill does somebody take the un-necessary step of making up a tribe?????


TO ME, that is the same as calling a tribe or nation "The Comanchesiouxs". Or the "Scottirish."

See? You'd be annoyed too.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Later that same day...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I just did an informal poll on Facebook. And for ME, it comes down to this:

If I am going to tell a story, tell it with as much truth as possible. 

And if that means spending a year doing research and reading as much as possible, then I do it.



It's easier to rest from work, than to back track and explain laziness.  


*I*, me, Jennifer, cannot let my work out the door, after having been blessed by some truly amazing and gracious Navajo friends who helped me get this far in my research, only to have their ancestors become a fairy tale.

Tosca Lee said "fiction is the lie that tells the truth". That is the essence of a fiction writer's call.

But, I refuse to dilute the truth by adding un-needed, intentional lies to a story that aims to set straight a record of wrongs so heinous, it's almost unbelievable. 


Thursday, April 3, 2014

I'm kinda stuck in...



The Weird Zone...

I am pretty much done the first book.
Now I wait for my uber-editor to go through it, then I do the revisions and send it to my agent.

But that means Book Two is calling.

But...I'm having a hard time diving in. Which is weird. Really weird. I've been itching to get going on this book for ages, and now?

It's so bad, I thought of cleaning my fridge instead of writing.

Read that again...

THIS IS NOT GOOD!!!!

Okay, leave me your advice for cranking up the energy to get going...

Monday, March 31, 2014

Belief and faith. Oh, and bad drivers.



I know this really awesome, nice looking guy (my husband) who works in the scientific research field. He's a forestry scientist and he is kinda smart. He also enjoys a good debate or two.
Quite a few scientists define themselves as atheists, or people who do not believe in a higher being, or deity.

Notice, I did not say they do not have faith.
  
To my mind, anyone who has trust in something, has faith.
I have faith in gravity, that the sun will rise in the morning and that one day, I will see Spring.

Wait just a second!!!

THAT faith is being tested! It's March 31st, and as I write this, my husband and 2 older sons are digging our driveway and front walkway out from yet another ice storm. In preparation for another snow storm. WAHHHH!!!

Ahem, sorry. what was I saying? Oh, right, faith.

Many people say they're "spiritual beings". Okay.
Many people say "I believe in a higher power, just not God."
And some people say they only believe in what they can see and feel.

Okay.

But let ask me them , and you, this...

If I can't see a yellow line down the middle of the road, but I know there's supposed to be two lanes, what makes me keep driving? What keeps me from refusing to leave my driveway?
Why do I risk my life driving thousands of pounds of steel, rubber, electronics and fuel down a road if there is no visible line???



Author photo.


Faith.

Pure and simple.

Faith that the other people who are doing the same thing as I am, believe the same thing as I do.

"I'll stay on my side, you stay on yours."

Trust.  Belief.  Faith.

Trust that the logical process of abiding by the appropriate standards will be met. Belief that the other drivers can actually drive. Faith that I don't need to see the line to know it is there.


Yes, that is entirely simplistic. But think about it now, in terms of the Christian faith...NOT the set of rules handed down by overly pious and hypocritical people who leave tracts instead of tips, or who rage at someone for wearing a tattoo, yet they wear more make-up than 4 super models.

A living, healthy faith should not make us judgmental, but seekers of justice. It should not give us the right to point our fingers at the wrongs of others, but wrap our hands around the hurts of those who need us.
And we should be known by our love, not our loud condemnations.

We should never have to use words to proclaim our belief in Jesus, but hopefully, those around us should be speechless at the obvious love we have for them and wonder why we're so different.


Like my friend Ian.  
 
And his friend Willian. Yes, with an N.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I think I'm done...for now...plus Snowiccane 2014.

Annnnnnd.....

I finished Round One of the re-Write to take my first book from the category of historical romance to the more applicable historical fiction. In a hist/rom, the focus is the romance, in historical fiction, the story is the focus and the romance is secondary.

I want to do justice to a time in history that is simply shameful. I do not care what the 'why' was. There is no reason ANYONE should gather up one group of people and march them 450 miles to where they can be controlled and "trained" to be subservient to their captors.

Back in 1864, that was official government policy. 

In 2014, that's called ethnic cleansing. Or, genocide.

Therefore, NOT romance novel material.



Sooooo, yeah, I re-worked it.
My editorial superhero,
Amy Drown http://www.amydrown.com
is going over the re-write, so when she's done, I'll crack open the file and see what magic she has wrought.

Seriously, if you're a writer and prepping your work to pitch or query? You NEED to hire her, she is BRILLIANT!!!

My agent suggested I have my manuscript edited by a professional, and I've read Amy's work, and frankly, I trust her 200%.    

I'm nearly giddy waiting to see what she thinks.

But don't quote me, I may change my mind and want to hurl. It's a mood thing.







And then there's....


this.


 
 
 
 
 
 
We're almost at the top of the L in 'blizzard'.


180 kph /100 mph winds.
White outs.
And it's March 26th???


Seriously though, pray that no one dies in this.



And on that perky note!

Take care, and have a calm, snow-free day !





That's just the good manners talking...I HATE WINTER!!!!





I open my sunscreen to smell the beach smell, then go shovel my sidewalk.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Book Review of The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn




I read Lori Benton's Burning Sky last summer. I LOVED LOVED LOVED it!!!




And a few weeks ago, I read ....









I knew she was working on TPOTL (I am not typing that title over and over) and was squirming and wriggling to get my sweaty little palms on it. And then one day, there she was, in my mailbox. Ahhhhh!!

I shut down my work for the day and read the entire book in 7 hours. I did stop for tea and chocolate, I'm not that insane...

So?

5 Dairy Milks out of 5.

I mean, WOW.

Lori Benton knows how to build and build and build and then you are freaking out because the phone DARED to ring and AHHHHH!!!

What is up with that??? Stupid phone!

So, sweet Tamsen lives with her mother and her not exactly Pa Walton-esque step-father. When things go awry, Tamsen manages to find herself in the care of two strangers. One is as mysterious as they come, the other is insufferable and arrogant and umm, fan yourselves...

One of the things I love about Lori Benton's writing is that she's an artist, like, an actual wildlife artist. So she knows the value of intricate details and the perfect phrase in the perfect spot. She weaves and stitches and pulls it all together and by the last page, you'll want to drop from happy exhaustion. Kind of like shopping with your supermodel friends and everything YOU LIKED fit, it was all 90% off and then you got 100% off coupon for the shoe store.

Tamsen is not a wilting, frail flower. Jesse is umm, has an , umm, horse, I think...Cade needs a wife and is the epitome of dedication...

Lori's use of an historical event as a character in and of itself is masterful, as is her occasional one-two 'life ain't pretty' punch to shake up the reader and draw us further into the story and make us even more emotionally involved.

I adored this book. It's quite a departure from Burning Sky, but it's as lush and rich as the Appalachians on a hot summer day.

Lori Benton could write a grocery list and make it an epic.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd the winner of the Winter Blues draw is...........




First, we load all the names of the entries into my gorgeous 'Women's Chaco' fancy riding hat from Sombrero Sucre....
That Argentine/Bolivian wool felt hat is hat made. A beautiful piece of craftsmanship.

NO WAY is this part of the prize...








Then my handsome assistant Zachary will scramble the names for a few seconds....








Then he unfolds the name.....





Can anyone read that????






Congratulations to our winner!!!!


The lovely, amazing Joyce Chandler!!!!

Facebook message me your address my dear, and I'll send the goodies out by the end of the week.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Rant. RantS....as in plural...beware, I use the words 'shut' and 'up'.


Ahhhh, it's Friday.
Or as I'm feeling feel right now, FRYday.

I'll start trite and build from here.

-I hate winter. I hate being cold. And don't say "Oh, you'll miss this in July." Nope. Gotcha there. I. WILL. NOT!!!

-I don't feel like washing my hair. I am categorically lazy. AND I just gave written testimony to that notion. HOW lazy is a person if they avoid the trauma of washing AND drying their hair? Oh shut up, and don't answer that.

-I want my blog to have 23 thousand followers who hang on my every witty word. Like Jen Hatmaker. Mercy. I read her stuff and think, "this is how *I* talk!!". But, I'm not her. Although our names are close. Poor thing, I bet she's sitting at home, reading this, saying "Ohhhh, if I could, for but a moment, BE Jennifer Major!!!"  Sure, here's my hips, knock yourself out.

-My neck and my shoulder STILL hurt. Stupidstupidstupid ice storm!! My physio did acupuncture yesterday. No, we'll not being doing that again. Hello, waves o' pain. And guhhhh, NOT the needles, the after effects. Kinda like a pain hangover. Thank the Lord she's awesome in every other physio-y kind of way. And yes, things are WAY better than they were a month ago.

-There is a certain person I really, really, really, REALLY want to interview for my blog. This person is playing hard to get. I am not a 4 year old who's just been told she can't have ice cream for dinner. Buuuuut, I'd say I'm getting close. >this< close. Stomp. Stomp. Sticks tongue out. Stomp. Just say yes and get this over with!!! No, it's not Hugh Jackman. Frankly, I'm sick of his infernal begging.  

-I'm struggling to get my brain around a re-write. I know I CAN do it. I know I want to tell these stories. I'm highly frustrated. Yes. I know, I can hear a few people saying "Oh shut UP and stop whining! YOU have an agent! I don't. Stop complaining about a re-write,  do you know how hard this writing thing is???" 

   Yes. Yes, I do. Thanks. But it is still HARD. I have my rights, and one of them is whining. No, I haven't cried like a baby...yet...today.

And I am beyond grateful for my agent, believe me, I AM! But it doesn't mean I'm not allowed to be frustrated. When you pour months into a piece of work, and it turns out to be a piece of work, and you have to turn around and hit 'rinse, repeat', it is TIRING. It's exhausting, and it is disheartening.

I heard that 'you can do it!'. Thank you.

-I totally, completely, super, really, really, totally appreciate the mountain of hits my blog gets...but, PLEASE, say hello? PLEEEEEEASE.

                                                                        Thank you,
                                                                              Needyzilla.


PS-go back one entry and leave a comment for the Bling...I'll draw a name Sunday night.





Monday, February 24, 2014

Got the winter blues??



All righty, Redheads, I admit it.
I hate, loathe, despise and generally don't enjoy winter.

I've got..the Winter Blues. 



Soooooo, why not do something about it??

I decided, why not give my blues away?
Take a look, wontcha?
There's some navy blue fingerless mittens, a blue and gold silk scarf, a blue cotton dishcloth to give to someone so they can do your dishes...

And, hey now, is that...bling?





Behold...blue glass beads earrings, blue ceramic beads, dipped in a copper glaze, and??

A sea glass and sterling silver arrowhead pendant.
And arrowhead??? How cool is that??




So...oh...wait...

Anyone spot anything I didn't describe?


Here's the fine print...
I could not get wound up in Rafflecopter just yet, so we're going old school...

1) If you haven't already, 'Like' the blog, by following TFTR, AND you get your gravatar/weensy picture on the bottom of this page. 

2) Share this on Facebook, and let me know that you did.

3) Leave a comment.

Each of those flashy moves gets your name in my favourite cowboy hat, and I'll draw a winner next Sunday night, and post the name on Monday. 

And yes, this contest is open to everyone.
Anywhere.



And by the way, the fingerless mittens, the Dishcloth for  Someone Else and the sea glass pendant? All made by my friend and fellow hockey mom, Monique Levert. 
Who is Acadian, NOT Quebecois, in case you're curious.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Announcing a contest/giveaway....



On Monday, maybe Tuesday...okay, Monday...I'm going to announce my very first...or not, I can't remember...anyway...contest and give-away. 





www.theroses28.blogspot.com



Did you see that?

A contest? AND give-away!

With stuff I'll have to mail to the winner.


Muahahahaha....

See you soon....

Monday, February 17, 2014

Back in the saddle again....





I like horses, I do.
I used to be able to ride them.

In my dreams, I can ride like this....


www.horse-connection.com.au





When, in reality, THIS is the most horse I can handle.



www.portraitswithhorses.com



Or this one...



 www.handimania.com



But ONLY if you push it slow and I wear a seat belt.





Some of you may have noticed I've been kinda quiet on the blogs since Christmas. I basically got tired. And I got swamped in edits of my own work.
And I have a real family, not just the ones I made up.
Although, if we want to talk about good behaviour? 
At least the fake ones do their share of work around here.

Not that *I* do, but anyway...


So, I'll try to get back in the blog-hop-visit saddle.
Aren't you thrilled?

Yee-hah!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

An Australian dessert, fit for a Russian, made by a Canadian, eaten by all kinds of people.


Strawberry Pavlova...

photo from triedandtruerecipes.blogspot.com


Or as I call it, "all mine".

See that face? 
That face is thinking "If you touch my pavlova...I will bring down the boom."


And I will. Just ask my kids. Muahahaha.


Ahem.

Okay, so...how does one make this plate of perfection?

Beat 6 eggs white until stiff.

photo from tourism1.blogspot.com

Here's a tip: separate the eggs one at a time, THEN when you are sure there's no yolk in the white, THEN put it in the mixing bowl. Egg whites don't whip 'up' if there is one drop of yolk, so do each egg, one at a time.

I usually just turn the mixer to medium and leave it to do its work.

Once the whites are stiff, add 1 1/2 cups of white sugar, not all at once though. Sprinkle it on, or you'll crush the nicely whipped egg whites. 


Whip the egg whites and sugar until the grainy feel of the sugar is as diminished as possible.
Then add one teaspoon each of vanilla, white vinegar and cornstarch, and beat a few more minutes..

Put a sheet of parchment paper (do as you're told) on a pizza pan or baking sheet. I use a round pizza pan that has holes it in. I prefer using this pan because the heat goes up into the meringue and gives it a better texture than a plain cookie sheet.

Bake for ONE HOUR at 250F, then turn the heat off and leave the shell in overnight.


CAREFULLY remove the cooled shell from the parchment paper. I do this by holding the shell and paper in one hand and peeling the paper by the edges all around until it comes off. If you do it SLOWLY , then you won't crack the shell in half. The shell will crack, it always does, but just a bit.


To serve:
Place shell on serving plate.
Whip 1 1/2 cups whipping cream, yes, with sugar, and spread on the shell. 
Add 2 pounds of sliced strawberries, yes, with a bit of sugar to bring out the juices, or any kind of berry combination you like, even kiwis.

Serve and enjoy. 
photo from Ciaowinnipeg.com

I dare you to only eat one piece!!


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Say what you mean to say, but ...

...don't you dare make something up to make yourself look good, or make me feel like you care, when you don't.


WHY am I on this topic?
I was reading Facebook posts on what not to say to pregnant women or adoptive parents.

And it got me thinking. 
And yes, I am as guilty as anyone about this subject.

Do we give out false compliments that end up hurting someone?


First, a wee story.

Years ago, like, 15 of them, there was this (for real) wonderful lady in the church we attended.

No, no names. 

I mean, AS IF??

Anyway, she was one of those women who EVERYONE adored. You know the kind I mean, leads Bible study, visits the elderly, cooks for the folks who can't, preaches, teaches, and generally rocks the Casbah and is downright pure awesomesauce.

A truly, genuinely NICE and loving person.

And I wanted her to like me.

And I don't think she did.

Many of you are thinking "really, why not? You're just so warm and fuzzy and calm and haven't an ounce of judgmental snark in you!"
Oh, and the mutated way I view the world has nothing to do with it either.
Or that I grew up in a big city church and rubbed elbows with all kinds of people who blew me away, and this lady didn't. 

I mean, DID I have an air of  "No, darlin', you don't impress me much, but keep trying, maybe one day you will."?
Did I have the air of "big city girl does time in small town"? Probably. 

At the time, I was still STRUGGLING with the fact that we were in a place I hadn't wanted to live. Ever. Not my whole life. And whoaaa, here we were.

And there was Mrs Supergirl, parting the crowds with her smile and hugging as she walked through the throngs of admirers.

But not me.
Never me.
Ever.

But, I sort of got an attitude. I think. 
Anyway, I started to feel like, "ya know, I don't care, I really don't" when I really did. NOT because all of a sudden she picked me for the team, but because she'd look at me like "hey, Trainwreck, how ya doing?"

So I tried to behave. I know, stop laughing. 
I TRIED to be worthy.

*I* tried.

Then one day, the woman who NEVER SPOKE TO ME EVER, was walking out the door as I was walking in, and she grabbed me by the shoulders and hugged me and blurted out something that sticks with me and resonates for all the wrong reasons.

"You're doing a wonderful job as a mother." 

Then she was gone.

So was my respect for her.
Instantly.

Why?

She never asked my name.
She didn't know my story.
She didn't know ME.


So why did that statement insult me so much?

If she didn't know me, she didn't know my kids and she had NO idea about my life. AT ALL.


So, what am I saying?

If you are going to up and give out a whopper of a compliment, KNOW to whom you bestow the words.

Because when you grab someone by the shoulders and say something like that. Say it in a moment when the listener can soak it up and let it wash over them.

There are SO many hurting people in the world. 
Don't toss kind words under the wheels of life. Give them out so that they are rain in a desert.

Be sincere.
Be real.
Be an oasis.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Who are Ted and Evie, Billy the Kid, what is a hogan and why I'm glad I can climb fences.

Back in 2012, two friends and I made it to the Bosque Redondo museum in beautiful Fort Sumner , New Mexico. It's quite pretty there, although hard to find,since the bigger draw in Fort Sumner is the Billy the Kid Museum and grave.
Yup, the supposed grave of a dead criminal. I know, right? 

"Honey, get the kids!! We need a picture of them posing next to a criminal's grave!"
 Anyway, we finally found the museum, waaaaay at the end of a road.

But I didn't get a chance to go out onto the land.

But, in November of 2013, I met...

Ted and Evie.

Or as they are formally known, Mr and Mrs 
Theodore and Evelyn Charles, of  Gallup , New Mexico. 
Well, not in Gallup, they live in a two story hogan, a rarity, on a hill outside of Gallup.  
Here they are, posing at Canyon de Chelly ( 'duh Shay) I seriously don't have a picture of the two of them without one of them either with their eyes shut, or someone having fun. 
Cough. Ted.


These two met in the early 1960's when she arrived at Rehoboth MIssion School in Gallup to work as a nurse. She was sweet and idealistic, and somewhat far from home. Ted had just gotten back from his time as a Marine and  was the boy's dorm supervisor/muscle/counsellor/chief trouble maker.
And if I do say so myself, I *think* our Ted was somewhat of a flirt.  
And here they are, 47 years later. 
And he still makes her blush.

So, HOW does a Canadian living on the East Coast meet and travel all over New Mexico and Arizona with a Navajo man and his wife?

Short story? I met Kiersti Plog(http://kierstiplog.com), (Facebook/blog 'met') then I found Mark Charles' blog on Kiersti's blog roll (www.wirelesshogan.blogspot.com) and then Mark introduced me to his dad, Ted.
And so it began.
I spoke with Ted on the phone, for almost 90 minutes, and long story short, he suggested I come to New Mexico.

Umm, here's the thing.
I haven't got the time or money to go to New Mexico. My schedule is packed solid.
So I prayed about it...

And God opened the doors!

Backtracking...I drove from Colorado Springs with Amy Drown, and we arrived in Belen, had dinner and Andrew and Barbara and the next morning, Ted and Evie drove A LONG WAY to rendezvous with me in the (not) swank Super 8 in Belen.

Then we drove a long way to Fort Sumner. Like, a LONG way. 
We got there, it was a gorgeous day, birds were singing, we were having a great time getting to know each other, the gates were locked and the sign said "no trespassers"

Umm.
WHAT?

So, we ended up next door at the state fair grounds.
And the gates were chained there, too.
Thankfully, the sign said "no littering".

See those two?
Yeah.
We didn't litter.




Neither did Evie.



We discussed our options, and decided to climb the fence. Evie wasn't too thrilled about it, since it really was trespassing. But, technically, there was no sign to say "2 white girls and a Navajo man cannot climb this fence and wander over to museum property and climb that fence and wander around unsupervised".

And I did not come ALL THIS WAY to be deterred by a sign.
Soooooo....


 Here's the Pecos. 

The pretty but poisonous Pecos. 



Meandering through the prison camp, the only water source for miles.



It was a beautiful day.



We even found a squash vine. We wondered if that vine was part of a garden, 150 years ago.


Given that is was close to the riverbank and under a huge cottonwood tree, it may very well be a heritage plant.
Or, who knows?





See how flat the terrain is? Imagine thousands upon thousands of people there, living in squalid, inhumane conditions. It was SO BAD, that the government signed a treaty and let the remaining prisoners go.


The Navajo measure their history before Bosque Redondo, or as the Navajo call it, Hweeldi , which began in 1864 and after, 1868.

Some say the word Hweeldi is a derivative of the Spanish word fuerte.

What it was? 

It was a living nightmare for 9500 Navajo.

And one of them was a little boy named Tsi'naginnie. (sit-nah-jin-ee).

One day, little Tsi'naginnie would grow up and have his own children, and one day, his grandson would come into the world.
His name? 

Theodore Charles.


Somewhere, across that field, all kinds of families existed and endured.

 Including Ted's family.



The very interesting part of the "no trespassing"thing is that if the museum was open, we'd have never gotten so close to the river. Or in my case, onto a sand and gravel bar in the river. 

And where does the second book in my series start?

In the river.



That night, after a long drive home, and a lot of discussion, we arrived at their home. But, this was my home for a few lovely days. 

This is 'the little hogan', down the hill from their two story hogan.
What a peaceful, lovely place to think, and wonder, and be thankful for blessings I never saw coming.

Ask any one of the hundreds of people who've known and appreciated Ted and Evie's hospitality, about the little hogan, and they'll smile and sigh. 

Because Ted and Evie know exactly how to walk in beauty.








Thank you, Evie and Ted, for the treasure of your time and wisdom..