Smith Mountain Lake Mystery Writer

Contemplations from a quiet cove on Smith Mountain Lake.

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Location: United States

I'm a Southern gal who loves life, my husband and our family (which, to date, includes 13 grandchildren). I enjoy being with friends and family. But I also like being alone and thinking up plots for future books. I've published two novels, both mysteries, and I'm working on my third. For more about my books, visit me at If you ever hear me say, "I'm bored," please get me to the ER immediately! Paddling my kayak and snapping pictures of the critters I see relaxes me. Beach music has the opposite effect--when I hear those old "doo-wops" I want to dance.

Monday, December 27, 2010


My precious grandson Jonathan would have been seven years old today, but he died suddenly, 17 days after his second birthday, from arterial venous malformation of the brain. He never met his sister Johanna, born eight days after he went to heaven, or Josiah, now three, or Anna, born this past July. They all would have had so much fun together.

Jonathan and me, Christmas 2005

Jonathan enjoyed playing ball with his older brother and sisters, snuggling in loving arms always eager to hold him, riding his rocking horse, "reading" books with anyone who would read to him, riding in the boat.

Jonathan waiting to catch the football

I miss him. We all miss him. Losing Jonathan was heart-wrenching, but the joy of having had him for two years and 17 days far outweighs the loss.

Happy Birthday, Jonathan. Grandmother still loves you.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Ploughcroft Tea Room

There's a new place in town! And it is delightful. And delicious. The Ploughcroft Tea Room is located at 1215 Commerce Street in Lynchburg, Virginia. If you are looking for something unique, you don't want to miss The Ploughcroft.

I dined there with 29 friends on Monday for a Victorian Afternoon Cream Tea. Normally closed on Mondays, they opened especially for us. We enjoyed several varieties of finger sandwiches and sweets, homemade scones with Devonshire cream and jam, sherry trifle, and fruit cake. We sipped on yummy Wassail (black tea with lemon, orange and cinnamon) and, of course, tea poured from authentic Victorian-era teapots. There's a little gift shop there, too.

Scones and Devonshire Cream with Jam

I haven't eaten lunch there yet, but I can hardly wait to feast on some of their offerings such as Shepherds Pie, Cornish Pasty and "all the good things that come out of Britain." Lunch is served from 11:00 to 2:00, and tea from 2:00 to 5:00.

An official grand opening featuring students dressed in Victorian costumes and readings from Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," is planned for December 11. I would like to attend, but if I can't make it, I guarantee I will eat lunch there soon.

The Ploughcroft is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11:00-5:00. Reservations aren't necessary, but are recommended (call 434-832-7467). To see their menu and learn more about this wonderful tea room, view their website.

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Saturday, December 04, 2010

It's Snowing!

I glanced out the window at 1:50 this afternoon, saw snowflakes, not many, but enough to bring back memories of growing up in Greenville, North Carolina, where it seldom snowed. A few flakes were enough to send me, all the neighborhood children, and Mother outside to enjoy the white stuff. Schools would close. If we needed milk, eggs, or any groceries, there were a couple of grocery stores that would deliver to your door. Greenville had only one really good hill for sledding. There was a problem, however. A train track stretched across the road at the bottom of the hill. When you hit the train track you screamed "Uh oh!" Or "~!+ @#%*&!!!"

I remember trudging about a mile, holding the handle of my portable sewing machine with both hands, to my friend Dot Davis' house. We'd sew all day and talk about boys, which ones we thought were cute (Ron was one) and which girls the boys liked. Then I'd pack my machine up and lug it home. I think I'll call Dot tonight, let her know it's snowing and I'm ready to sew.

Here's the picture I took at 2:00 today. You wouldn't know it was snowing, but if you look closely at the bird feeder and the trees across the water you'll see some tiny white spots. That's snow. Trust me.

The above picture was taken at 2:05. It looks like snow. And it is!

Taken at 3:30.

Taken at 3:40.

Taken at 4:00.

Snow has covered everything except our black-topped driveway. Ron is grateful; he doesn't want to go out in the cold and wet to put the snow plow on the tractor.

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