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.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Today is my grandson Jonathan's eighth birthday. Even though he died suddenly on January 13, 2006, at the age of two years and 17 days, we still count December 27th as his birthday. We always will. He was such a sweet child, loved his five siblings, enjoyed playing ball, "swimming" in the lake, toy trucks and playing in the bed of his Granddaddy's truck. He adored his big brother Jacob, and sisters Micah, Rebecca, Sarah and Susannah.

Unknown to any of us, Jonathan suffered from arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a condition in which the blood vessels in the brain rupture. AVMs are defects of the circulatory system that are generally believed to occur during embryonic or fetal development. The malformations tend to be discovered only incidentally, usually either at autopsy or during treatment for an unrelated disorder. Google arteriovenous malformations if you wish to learn more about AVMs.

Happy birthday, Jonathan. Grandmother loves you.


Saturday, December 10, 2011


I really should be working on Christmas cards, decorating my house, baking. And I was doing that until I saw this tufted titmouse sitting in this water dish on the deck. I grabbed my camera and started shooting.

Hmmm, water. Should I?

Nobody's watching . . .

Yep, the coast is clear.

Head first is the only way to go!

Now that was refreshing!

One more time? Why not?

Ready, set . . .


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Friday, December 02, 2011


I've always been proud of my grandchildren, but when my grands planned how to help families in need I almost burst with pride. On Thanksgiving day they sat around our dining room table and studied the World Vision, Smile Train, and Food for the Poor catalogs and leaflets.

Instead of giving Christmas gifts to each other, they used the money they would have spent for:

  • job training for a woman
  • a deep-water well for up to 300 people
  • equipment and supplies to help mothers keep their newborns alive
  • a share of a home for an orphan
  • a year of school for an orphan
  • mosquito netting
  • sheep
  • 5 fruit trees
  • clothes
  • medicine
  • help for a disabled child

Adults were there to guide them should the children need assistance.

They did the same thing last year, spending at least two hours each year working on their Christmas gift.

Lessons learned? How to work together. How to speak up when you think something is important. Math, and the power of the dollar in third-world countries, that their money can make a difference in someone's life. How good they have it compared to millions of others, to be thankful for what they have. Compassion. Pride in themselves and each other.

Between them, they donated around $450.00 this year to help others have a better life. Yep. I'm so proud of my grandchildren.